Liverpool are close to completing a deal to sign AS Roma winger Mohamed Salah for £35m this summer, with manager Jurgen Klopp strengthening the attack for their upcoming Champions League campaign.
The Egyptian international had a forgettable spell in the Premier League with former side Chelsea, but has resurrected his career in Italy. So what can Liverpool expect from Salah?
Goals and assists
Salah is a left-footed right-winger who likes to cut inside on his stronger foot to get among the goals or create chances for others. He’s best deployed in a role that allows him freedom in the final third to get into dangerous areas and his record at Roma is evidence of this.
The 25-year-old made 31 appearances in the Serie A last season, scoring 15 goals and making 11 assists, following on from an impressive maiden campaign too – 14 goals, six assists in 2015/16. He has a 20% conversion rate, while hitting the target with 43% of his efforts in the top-flight.
At Chelsea and at times with former side Basel, Salah was guilty of wastefulness. He managed to get himself into scoring positions but his finishing would often let him down.
The Egyptian international, who boasts 29 goals in 53 caps for his country, seems to have improved his fortunes in the final third. The Roma man could be key to Liverpool if he can replicate his scoring antics next season.
Engrained in the Liverpool mould
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has targeted versatile attackers when looking to strengthen his side, favouring pace and industry to ensure his side can quickly turn defence into attack. The Reds boss also loves interchangeable forwards who can operate across the frontline in each others’ position, and Salah is perfect for this.
Klopp wants his wide men getting among the goals and assists rather than hugging the touchline and whipping balls in. That job is left to the full-backs. Last season, Liverpool had Philippe Coutinho, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino given the freedom to express themselves in the final third and Salah should flourish in the same role.
His arrival will also ensure the manager can rest a key name when necessary as Liverpool’s lack of depth was evident during the second half of the season when Mane was injured. Klopp was willing to spend large sums on a player with pace, dribbling ability, who also provides a goal and assist threat. There are few better players for £35m than Salah.
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