Yesterday afternoon, Liverpool announced the reported £34.3 million signing of Mohamed Salah.
The Egyptian winger has been a heavily sought after player for the Reds and has been a transfer on the cards since 2013.
In 2014, Liverpool tabled a bid for Salah, however Chelsea swooped in to scupper any potential transfer to Anfield.
Three years on, and the Reds finally have their man. Here are five reasons why he will prove to be a terrific acquisition:
1. Experience :
When the Reds first tried to lure the Egyptian to Merseyside, he was only 21 years old. In a way, this transfer collapse may have worked out well in the long run. This is because, Salah has since gone on to play for Chelsea, Fiorentina, and Roma.
In doing this, he has undoubtedly become a more well-rounded player, which is what Liverpool need; someone with experience and can deliver when needed.
In recent times, the club have created a habit of purchasing young players for the future, this is an exception- with Salah most certainly being a purchase ready to be deployed into action, now.
He also has Champions League experience, something Liverpool will require for the upcoming campaign.
2. Squad Depth :
As Liverpool reached the grueling winter fixtures last season, with key players injured, as well as Sadio Mane jetting off to the African Cup of Nations, it was clear that there was a lack of quality options in the side.
Mane was the player leading the Reds’ attack, causing havoc each time he set off down the wings. However, as soon as he departed for the month of January, Liverpool came crashing down from the upper echelons of the league.
The team were unable to play the same dynamic and deadly football that they were previously playing.
But, adding players such as Salah who are highly skilled, like Mane, will only bolster attacking options if the team is blighted by injuries, or when squad rotation is surplus to requirements.
Although it is highly unlikely that Salah will be a sporadic team player, it still adds a touch of solidity to the side that was left exposed when key figures were out of the side.
3. Attacking Force :
In his two seasons with Roma, Salah scored 34 league goals, as well as providing 24 assists. He is a lethal player, with pace in abundance.
The Reds already formed a formidable attacking trio in Mane, Roberto Firmino, and Philippe Coutinho last season, and the addition of Salah simply increases the level of talent to a new level.
Reds fans have been salivating at the prospect of having the pace of Mane and Salah on the wings next season- a duo that would be enough to frighten the life out of any Premier League defence.
4. Versatility :
Salah himself, has stated that he is comfortable to play wherever he is needed, whether that is left-wing or right wing. Of course, it was Mane who occupied the right sided position for the Reds last season, which is also the preferred place of Salah.
This could mean that Salah will switch to the left hand side, leaving Mane on the opposite flank.
No matter where he plays, it is probable that the Egyptian will still cause danger. But, it is a great advantage to have a player like this, who is adjustable to whatever will work best for the team. It also means that if Mane is injured at some stage, Salah can then switch back to the right, or vice versa.
5. Point To Prove:
Having sealed the deal to Chelsea back in 2014 for £12 million, this was the start of a new beginning for Salah, however things did not pan out in the way he may have envisaged.
The forward made just 13 Premier League appearances in two seasons at the club, in what was a disappointing and underwhelming move.
Salah’s game time was severely limited by manager, Jose Mourinho, who was said to be the reason for Salah picking Chelsea over Liverpool in the 2013 transfer saga, when he was still at Swiss club, Basel.
Liverpool failed to match Chelsea’s offer, but Salah exclusively revealed that Mourinho was the overriding factor as to why he switched and didn’t hold out for another offer from Brendan Rodgers.
Midway through his second season at Stamford Bridge, he was loaned out to Serie A otufit, Fiorentina, and would not return back to London.
Salah himself, has issued a warning to Chelsea that he is back, and hoping to pick up on unfinished business in the Premier League.
He said :
“Yes, always [I have a point to prove]. Even if I see myself playing very well in one thing, I try to improve to do it better and better. I always think about the small details because I need to improve more and more.
‘I was here [in England] and I have experience. I like to play here in the Premier League. I’m happy to be back and I’m excited.”