This season, Liverpool and Mohamed Salah are mirror images of each other. Where the poor performance of one is reflected in others. Far from being in the Premier League title race, even finishing in the top four is now as difficult as climbing Everest for Liverpool. And Salah’s performance in goal is a symbol of Liverpool’s helplessness.
The ‘Egyptian King’-famous footballer is going through his worst season in Liverpool’s jersey. But why? The player who scored the highest 23 goals in the league in the last season is why he is dying in search of goals! Salah has not scored a goal throughout the month of January. After 19 matches in the Premier League, he scored only 7 goals.
One of the greatest footballers of his time, he already has all the ingredients to become a Liverpool legend. The forward is also the owner of the highest 32 goals in a season so far in the Premier League era of 38 matches. However, the reality is that Salah is looking for that lost golden period now. Let’s look back at last Sunday’s match against Brighton. A star without a nail was seen to be in the mood for a goal that day.
Not only the footwork, Salah’s confidence was also at the bottom. Salah is like an isolated island in terms of pulling the team out of danger. Nothing is happening at all. The pressure of Salah’s performance has also affected Liverpool’s overall performance.
However, Salah had the big responsibility of not letting Sadio Mane’s departure and the lack of injury-depleted attack be understood. But Salah has failed in that responsibility. Salah has been difficult to find on the field in recent times.
If we go a little deeper, however, the picture may seem different. It’s not that Salah hasn’t scored at all this season. Salah has scored 17 goals in all competitions so far this season. The Egyptian star is also the joint top scorer in the group stage of the Champions League.
At the end of the season, Salah may even surpass last season’s tally of 31 goals. However, the task will not be easy. The big question is, are these goals of Salah of any use at all? Or is it possible to find the destructive Salah in the goal?
Salah’s need at Liverpool can be understood from another angle. The biggest victory of the “All Reds” this season came against Manchester City. The winning goal in that match came from Salah. But the former AS Roma forward could not show that performance before and after.
Among these, however, can be mentioned a hat-trick against Rangers in the Champions League and a brace in Liverpool’s victory against Tottenham in the league. But those few moments were nothing more than glimpses. Salah has regularly produced such performances in his prime.
There is also evidence that Salah is ineffective in the scoring statistics. Salah has scored 0.34 goals per 90 minutes so far this season, the fewest of anyone who has scored at least 7 goals this season. Salah’s goals per 90 minutes in the previous five seasons were 0.75 (2021-22), 0.64 (2020-21), 0.59 (2019-20), 0.61 (2018-19) and 0.99. (2017-18). Also his goal conversion rate is 14 percent. Among those who scored 7 goals, that is also less than all.
One of the reasons for Salah’s poor performance this season could be Liverpool’s lack of attack. At the end of last season, the Liverpool-trio interaction that had been dominant for the previous few seasons was broken.
Sadio Mane left Liverpool for Bayern Munich in the summer transfer window. Darwin Nunez and Cody Gapkora have yet to settle into the team. Stars like Roberto Firmino, Diego Jota and Luis Diaz of the forward line have suffered from injuries.
Salah’s performance has also been affected by Liverpool’s lack of stability in attack. Salah has not been able to pair up with anyone throughout the season so far, which has also brought down the mercury in his performances.
Not just the stars in the forward line, Liverpool have suffered from a lack of capable midfielders since the start of the season. The midfield woes have had an impact on other positions in the team as well. This is also one of the reasons why Salah could not shine.
Along with this, the subject of fatigue and age that comes with continuous success can also be brought forward. Salah has scored consecutive goals for several seasons. Liverpool have also completed the circle of success with his 173 goals in all competitions so far.
And that success may have had a big impact on Salah’s hunger for goals. In addition, Salah’s age has now crossed 30. Footballers start getting ‘old’ from this age. But Salah is now a new age! Despite not being injured this season, Salah has shown himself to be physically very tired.
But even far from his best, Salah has been one of Liverpool’s best players this season. He still takes a lot of shots on goal, touches the ball in the opponent’s d-box a lot and dribbles well. Therefore, Salah is still the biggest hope for Liverpool’s turnaround.
With so much already lost, Liverpool will look to Salah to pick up what’s left and improve performance. Can Salah now come forward and save Liverpool’s season!