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A forward who walked out on Arsenal might be Mohamed Salah’s replacement at Liverpool

A forward who walked out on Arsenal might be Mohamed Salah’s replacement at Liverpool

How would you go about replacing Mohamed Salah if you had to? Even if the Ballon d’Or voters haven’t caught on, the Egyptian is easily one of the world’s top three players.

Liverpool and their fans will be hoping that the club does not need to sign a new right forward anytime soon.

When addressing ahead of his team’s Champions League match against Benfica, Jurgen Klopp stated that he is pleased with how contract negotiations are proceeding.

However, until a contract is reached, the potential of the Reds’ number 11 leaving Anfield in the next 14 months remains.

Liverpool must be prepared for the post-Salah scenario, which may arrive sooner than expected.

According to Goal, Serge Gnabry might be the guy to take over on the right side of the Reds’ frontline.

As with Salah, the Bayern Munich star’s deal expires in 2023 and he has yet to agree to an extension.

Liverpool have reportedly identified him as a potential replacement, albeit they will face competition from Real Madrid and Juventus.

So far, so typical transfer rumor. But, given that the Reds prefer players on short-term contracts who can fit in with their current lineup, the Gnabry tale makes a lot of sense.

There aren’t many feasible transfer targets for Liverpool if you look at the list of the ten players to whom Salah is most statistically similar (on FBRef).

Four of them play in the Premier League – three for Manchester City – while Lionel Messi and Neymar are similarly unattainable, if for no other reason than financial.

Gnabry, on the other hand, makes the cut and has Premier League experience, having previously played for Arsenal and West Bromwich Albion. 

While the 26-year-old has yet to demonstrate that he can score as many goals as Salah, he has shown a degree of consistency that is rarely seen elsewhere.

The German international has scored at least ten non-penalty league goals in each of the last six seasons, including stints with Werder Bremen and Hoffenheim, as well as the last four with Bayern.

Only eight other players in Europe’s top five leagues have consistently met this standard since 2016/17, and Kylian Mbappe is the only one who is younger.

Gnabry may have scored the fewest goals in the group, but if you’re in the mix with the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Salah, Harry Kane, Sadio Mane, and Cristiano Ronaldo, you’re doing something right.

While Gnabry prefers his right foot, scoring 40 of his 63 career league goals with it, he has 18 with his left, several of which have come from the right side of the box (or just outside it).

If you look at a highlight reel of his goals, you’ll notice that there are a lot of those that you might see Salah scoring.

He curls the ball into the far corner of the net from either side of the box, and the Bayern winger’s backheeled goal against Liverpool’s latest Champions League opponents, Benfica, was also a sight to behold earlier this season.

The former Arsenal player is also flexible, having scored 34 goals as a right winger but 39 on the opposite flank throughout his career (per Transfermarkt).

It’s realistic to believe Luis Diaz will have the left side of Liverpool’s attack nailed down for the foreseeable future, but it never hurts to have guys who can play many positions (both from a squad management and opposition confusion perspective).

Many of Gnabry’s numbers are amazing, but they are for most Bayern Munich players given the club’s dominance in the Bundesliga.

But while he might not be in the same elite top one percent level as Salah for as many metrics on FBRef’s scouting report, he’s in the top 10 percent for more of them.

Liverpool won’t want to replace the Egyptian unless absolutely necessary but they could do a lot worse than entrusting Gnabry with one of the hardest challenges in football.


A forward who walked out on Arsenal might be Mohamed Salah’s replacement at Liverpool

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