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Liverpool: Why Mohamed Salah is still crucial

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Liverpool fought their way to a brilliant victory over Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, as they finished 2-1 winners in London.

It’s been a turbulent season for the Reds so far, so an impressive performance against a side that’s been snug in the top four will be a huge confidence boost for Jurgen Klopp’s men.

While the Anfield outfit boasted good performances in most areas of the pitch, it was the Egyptian King who was the standout.

On the Chalkboard

Since his arrival for £34m back in 2017 from AS Roma, Liverpool’s world-class winger has been a revelation.

A Chelsea reject, the Egyptian has established himself as one of – if not the best – player in the Premier League over recent seasons.

Despite this, some had started to doubt the Reds’ talisman this season and for parts of last year too, however recent performances have shown that he is still integral to Jurgen Klopp’s side.

In the game at the weekend, the 30-year-old was at the double, providing a delicately calculated finish for his first goal and a predatory instinct to pounce on Eric Dier’s mistake for the second.

Sofascore awarded him a 7.7 rating on the day, making him the joint-highest performer on the pitch – a justified ranking considering the constant threat he provided.

These goals take the talented ace’s total for the season to a massive 14 goals, with five assists as well. Hitting such prolific numbers when we’re not even at the halfway point of the season is a testament to the undeniable quality of Liverpool’s star-man, and almost ridicules any suggestion that he’s past his best.

Looking at FBref, there is further clear evidence as to why Salah is and has to remain a key man for Liverpool. He ranks in the top 1% for total shots, progressive passes received and touches in the opposition box. 

Additionally, the hitman ranks in the top 5% for non-penalty goals and the top 30% for assists. This data illuminates just how good of a player he is, and subsequently showcases the void that would be left if he was no longer a part of the Liverpool lineup. 

Speaking after the Spurs game, Klopp heaped praise on his trusted forward, while discussing criticism directed towards the attacker’s ‘slow start’:

“Tonight, what pleased me the most, he scored the two goals and then he played like a real, real team player. I am not surprised by it, but it is just important because he gets confronted with these questions as well, ‘slow start’ and these kind of things, and then it’s like you have to score a hat-trick here or whatever. He was all about first defending and then you will get your chances again.“

Forget about the likes of Virgil Van Dijk and Jordan Henderson, the form of the long-serving dynamo is still paramount to Liverpool’s success on the pitch and if he’s fit and firing again, then expect the Merseysiders to fly up the table in the New Year.

Sky Sports pundit and former Anfield colossus Jamie Carragher also reacted to his performance, simply branding him as “sensational” on Twitter.

With everything aforementioned, it’s clear that both the statistics and the opinion of the manager mean that Liverpool’s £350k per-week gem won’t be getting dropped anytime soon, and he could be the one to turn the club’s fortunes around this season.

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