‘Even Salah will be sur­prised’

The Manica Post - - Foreign News / Sport -

LIVER­POOL leg­end Phil Thomp­son be­lieves even Mo­hamed Salah will be sur­prised by his sen­sa­tional first sea­son at An­field.

The Egyp­tian star leads the Premier League scor­ing charts with 28 goals fol­low­ing his four-goal haul against Wat­ford last week­end, which also saw him cut to just 5/4 to win the PFA Player of the Year award.

Hav­ing strug­gled to make an im­pres­sion at Chelsea, Salah at­tracted the at­ten­tion of the Reds thanks to 29 goals in 65 ap­pear­ances for Roma, but Thommo be­lieves that not even he would have ex­pected to have made such a big im­pact at An­field.

He told Sky Sports: “It has been the best ever de­but sea­son for an at­tacker and it is just as­tro­nom­i­cal what he is do­ing. It must be a dream for him and I imag­ine he will barely be able to un­der­stand what has hap­pened.

“He’s come from Italy to a league which is sup­posed to be tougher and more phys­i­cal and he’s find­ing it a pushover. It has just been ev­ery­thing Liver­pool could have hoped for.”

The Soccer Satur­day pun­dit has also com­pared the 25-year-old’s cam­paign with Luis Suarez’s 30-goal fi­nal sea­son at the club. He added: “The thing ev­ery­body loved about Suarez was his in­ten­sity and he was ag­gres­sive, whereas while Mo is in­tense with his clos­ing down he’s not as ag­gres­sive.

“How­ever, this is as good if not bet­ter, espe­cially be­cause it is his first sea­son here whereas Suarez was in the league for a few sea­sons be­fore re­ally pro­duc- ing.”

Thommo is, how­ever, wary that it will be dif­fi­cult for the winger to main­tain such a high level of form as de­fences fo­cus on halt­ing his threat.

“Ob­vi­ously all the com­par­isons to Lionel Messi are be­ing made be­cause of that low cen­tre of grav­ity and the way the ball sticks to his left foot, but Messi has ob­vi­ously de­liv­ered con­sis­tently at the high­est level,” he said.

“We’ve lauded it on Salah but great­ness is some­thing that comes over the sea­sons and it will maybe be harder next sea­son as de­fend­ers get wiser to him.

“There’s been a lot of play­ers who have sec­ond-sea­son syn­drome, so it will be in­ter­est­ing to see if he hits the ground run­ning af­ter the sum­mer.”

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