Thursday, September 29, 2022

Salah has ´year to prove´ worth after new Liverpool contract, says Nigel de Jong

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 23 Aug 2022

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Mohamed Salah has “a year to prove” himself worthy of the new bumper deal handed to him by Liverpool, believes former Netherlands international Nigel de Jong.

The Egypt international put an end to long-running speculation about his future in July by signing a fresh three-year contract to take him through to 2025 at Anfield.

With Sadio Mane having departed for Bayern Munich, the move represented a major part of Liverpool’s off-season transfer business to keep one of the key figures of the Jurgen Klopp era on Merseyside.

But a slow start to the season for Liverpool has seen Salah among others come in for criticism, with the forwatd’s second goal of the new Premier League campaign on Monday against Manchester United not enough to stave off a 2-1 defeat for the Reds.

With just two points from their first three games, Liverpool are already arguably facing an uphill battle in the title race with Manchester City, and now De Jong has opined that Salah is on limited time to justify the faith shown in him.

“If I was the sporting director and I’d just extended the contract of probably the best player in my squad, I’ll give you a year to prove yourself,” he told beIN SPORTS.

“Are you worth another [three] years? You need to produce the same numbers, especially on the wages he’s on.

“I think it’s really important for Salah, and also for Liverpool, to find a way to be successful together in order to strive for him to stay at Liverpool for a long time. If not, they have to make a decision as well.

“I’ve said it many times over the past couple of years: Mane is the soul of the team. He is a complete player in his energy, in producing numbers, in the way he strides forward.

“Of course, I’m not saying Salah isn’t a great player, but he’s staggering when it comes down to the numbers.”

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