Mohamed Salah: The Premier League’s most criminally underrated goal machine
Mohamed Salah is one of the best - and most underrated - footballers in the world.
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Following Mo Salah’s fourth goal of the season against Crystal Palace last weekend, the Egyptian is now four goals away from becoming the highest scoring African player in Premier League history - beating Didier Drogba (104).
What makes this as unbelievable as it is is that Drogba played over 90 games more than Salah has so far - and it’s just yet another record to add to his long list.
As well as the Premier League title, Champions League trophy, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup that has won since joining Liverpool in 2017, Salah has also broken records such as ‘most goals in a 38-game Premier League season’, ‘most Premier League Player of the Month awards in a single season’ and ‘most teams scored against in a Premier League season’.
The man is a machine - built to break records and score goals - and the Premier League does not deserve him.
Salah has scored 101 goals in 163 Premier League appearances for the Reds and yet still isn’t spoken about as one of the best ever.
Football fans applaud the likes of Drogba and Sergio Aguero, but fail to mention Salah in that conversation - despite the statistics that quite clearly prove he is up there and arguably better than many Premier League legends.
The Egypt international was destined for a tough time in England from the moment he arrived. The £36.5 million price-tag seemed laughable to fans who had witnessed his poor performances in a Chelsea shirt just a couple of years earlier, but even when Salah finished his debut season with 32 goals in 36 league games, the keyboard warriors were determined to find something to criticise him about.
The term ‘one season wonder’ was thrown around towards the end of the 2017/18 season and throughout the summer that followed and you would probably be forgiven for believing this would be the case. Salah couldn’t keep this up, could he? Yes, he didn’t quite reach the dizzy heights of 30+ goals the following year, but Mo Salah seemed untouchable as he continued his exceptional form in a Liverpool shirt.
The winger is now featuring in this fifth Premier League campaign for the Reds and has only failed to score 20+ goals once - in 2019/20.
Liverpool endured a particularly difficult season last time out which saw two thirds of Liverpool’s deadly attacking trio struggle, however Salah managed to claim 22 goals in what was supposed to be a poor season for him and his teammates.
The recent FIFA 22 ratings are a perfect example of how we refuse to praise Salah for his individual success.
The 29-year-old saw his rating drop from 90 to 89 in the 2022 edition of the video game - despite only missing out on the Premier League golden boot last season by one goal.
Of course the rating caused anger among Liverpool fans, but is unsurprising given the constant criticism Salah recieves.
The 2x Golden Boot winner could go on to replicate the statistics and awards that the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have earned during their careers and he would still be criminally underrated.
How can a footballer that has more honours to his name than years he has been on his planet be doubted so much? And are we forgetting that the players we have to compare him with are all strikers, while he himself is actually a winger? When we speak of Mo Salah’s Premier League record we look to the likes of Drogba, Aguero and Thierry Henry, because Salah’s goal tally in a Liverpool shirt is simply not worth comparing to those that have previously played in his position.
When Salah inevitably becomes the all-time top African goalscorer in the Premier League, will football fans start to give him the credit he deserves? Will he challenge Yaya Toure for the best ever African footballer in the top tier of English football? The former Manchester City midfielder was seen as the very best, while his fellow African will never be appreciated in quite the same way.
The man is a footballing freak of nature. He is quite easily one of the best players the Premier League has ever seen and has so far this season been the best in the world.
While the Mo Salah fan club will long to see the ‘Egyptian King’ get the praise he deserves, Salah himself definitely doesn’t need all his doubters to side with him in order to be at his very best. In fact, to be an underdog - an underdog with 101 in 163 appearances - only makes playing the beautiful game so much enjoyable for him.
The pressure is off and Salah is rapidly becoming a footballing legend - whether you like it or not.