Saturday, December 3, 2022

‘Strange’ as Liverpool now worried that their star is becoming the new Sergio Aguero.

‘Strange’ Liverpool oversight worried that their star is becoming the new Sergio Aguero.

'Strange' Liverpool oversight worried that their star is becoming the new Sergio Aguero.

By the greatest common criteria, it has been an exceptional season for Mohamed Salah at Liverpool.

His tag of 31 goals in all competitions made him only the fourth Liverpool star to burst through the 30-goal barrier in a single campaign on multiple times since the club were elevated back to the top flight almost 60 years ago.

Salah, who first accomplished the achievement in his first campaign in 2017/18, follows Roger Hunt (three times), Ian Rush (four times) and Robbie Fowler (three times).

With 22 goals in the top flight, the Egyptian was only one behind Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane in keeping a third Premier League Golden Boot award.

And all this while competing for a Liverpool team who for several months strived to perform as an attacking unit and tallied one goal in seven home matches at the start of the year.

Salah’s strikes aided carry Jurgen Klopp’s side for much of the season. Certainly, his goals were worth 17 points to his club – more than any other Premier League player this season.

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Yet when it has come to the end-of-season personal honors, Salah has been totally disregarded for the third year running in the annual PFA prizes.

Manchester City’s title stroll and Chelsea’s Champions League victory means few could be surprised at Salah not taking home any honors. He would acknowledge there are more worthy winners.

But to not even be included in the discussion is rather odd.

In some regards, Salah is in jeopardy of becoming the Premier League’s most advanced version of Sergio Aguero.

Not that Liverpool would have many concerns with that – if the Egyptian sticks around at Anfield for as long as Aguero did at City and prolongs to be just as productive, almost every goalscoring record in the club’s memoir would come under threat.

But where Salah would fancy not to be equated to the Argentine is in having his brilliance chiefly taken for granted.

Aguero got 30 or more goals in five of his 10 terms at City, and more than 20 in an additional three. Yet only twice was he preferred in the Premier League team of the year by his fellow specialists, and his only namings for the individual prizes came in both the Player and Young Player award in his debut season in 2012.

More importantly for Aguero, though, is that he left City this month with plenty of medals and as a club legend – their record goalscorer, the highest non-English scorer in Premier League history and having scored the most with one club.

Salah, with 97 in four terms at Anfield, is now in the top 10 of that latter table and stands 30th in the overall Premier League ranks.

“You don’t have to ask me if or why he doesn’t get the credit,” said a bemused Klopp earlier this season when asked about Salah. “If he doesn’t get the credit, I don’t know.

“It would be really strange and really unexplainable why he shouldn’t get the credit. He gets the credit here, internally, for sure for all these things.”

Salah is appreciated and loved at Liverpool, with a new, improved deal in the offing. The only thing the forward is blameworthy of is performing on a notably regular level.

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‘Strange’ as Liverpool now worried that their star is becoming the new Sergio Aguero.

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