Scout Reports

Scout Report – Mohamed Salah

Liverpool followed up the capture of Dominic Solanke on a free transfer from Chelsea with their second summer signing on Thursday, adding Egypt international Mohamed Salah from Roma for an undisclosed fee, believed to be £34 million.

The 25-year-old put pen to paper on a five-year contract and, speaking to the club’s official website, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp outlined the qualities he’ll bring to the Liverpool attack:

“Mohamed has the perfect mix of experience and potential – this is a really exciting signing for us… His record in Italy has been outstanding, and he possesses qualities that will enhance our team and squad… His pace is incredible, he gives us more attacking threat, and we are already strong in this area. I like that he will make it even more competitive.”

The History

Salah linked up with El Mokawloon at the age of 14, making his first-team debut in May 2010 aged 17.

He remained with the Egyptian side until the summer of 2012, scoring 12 goals in 44 appearances before joining Swiss outfit Basel.

The attacker enjoyed a promising first season in Switzerland, registering five goals and four assists in 29 league appearances, while he was also a key member of the squad that reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Europa League, totalling two goals and five assists in 14 outings.

He scored against Chelsea during that run and then netted twice against the Blues in the UEFA Champions League the following season, prompting a move to Stamford Bridge for a fee in the region of £11 million in January 2014.

Salah produced a respectable two goals and two assists from 10 appearances during the second half of the 2013/14 campaign, but a lack of first-team opportunities saw the Egyptian join Italian club Fiorentina on loan in February 2015.

He made a convincing early impression in Serie A, totalling six goals and three assists from 16 outings, prompting Roma to sign the wide man on a season-long loan, with a view to a permanent move, ahead of the 2015/16 season.

Salah enjoyed a fantastic first season in Rome, registering 14 goals and eight assists in 34 league matches, making the decision for I Giallorossi to sign him on a permanent deal for a reported €15 million a straightforward one.

Last season, Salah again produced some eye-catching numbers, tallying 15 goals and 13 assists in 31 league appearances, helping Roma to a second place finish.

After representing Egypt at U20 and U23 levels, scoring seven goals in 22 appearances, Salah made his senior debut in September 2011 and has recorded an impressive 29 goals and 18 assists from his 53 caps.

The Prospects

The arrival of Salah, in addition to the likes of Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Adam Lallana, should ensure that the Liverpool attack remains one of the most potent in the Premier League.

The Reds scored 78 goals last term, just eight fewer than the top-ranked Spurs, despite Coutinho, Mane and Lallana all enduring lengthy spells on the sidelines.

The loss of Mane, in particular, over the final eight Gameweeks was a major blow, with no other player in the Liverpool squad offering the pace and direct running of the Senegal international.

That situation has now been addressed.

Salah’s main strengths are his blistering pace and mesmeric dribbling ability, while his decision-making in the final third has improved markedly while in Italy.

Capable of playing across all the attacking midfield positions, Salah used his first interview with his new club to stress his versatility.

“I have played on the right. Last season with Roma we played five at the back and two strikers; I was a second striker, like a No.10. Sometimes I go on the left. I can play anywhere up front.”

However, his left-foot is dominant with Salah preferring to cut in from the right flank to fire shots and provide for team-mates.

The 25-year-old played 26 of his 39 matches in all competitions on the right flank last season, and it is that position where Egyptian journalist Marwan Ahmed believes Salah will feature in Klopp’s plans, with Mane perhaps moving to the left wing.

That could also have ramifications on Coutinho’s role, with the Brazilian possibly earmarked for a deeper role on the left of the three-man midfield in Klopp’s favoured 4-3-3 formation – something the Reds boss has already discussed.

Coutinho did play in a similar position when Klopp switched to a midfield diamond in the final few matches of last season, and it certainly looks a viable option against the weaker sides in the league.

Liverpool dropped points at home to the likes of Swansea City, Bournemouth, Crystal Palace and Southampton at Anfield, so the option to field Coutinho and Lallana either side of Jordan Henderson or Emre Can should help break down deep-lying defences.

Having a player like Salah, who possesses great movement, will allow more space for the likes of Coutinho and Lallana to operate in central midfield, which could be the key to winning those home matches where the Reds have previously toiled.

With Liverpool qualifying for the UEFA Champions League – providing they win their play-off in August – there will be rotation concerns, particularly when the group stages begin in September.

That is an obvious concern, bearing in mind that Klopp also has Divock Origi and Daniel Sturridge as options for the central striker role, although Sturridge’s future at the club is far from certain.

Comparing the underlying statistics of Salah compared to Coutinho, Firmino and Mane last season, the Egyptian fares well.

He averaged a shot every 31.09 minutes, which betters Mane (39.44), although he did trail Coutinho (21.18) and Firmino (30.69).

But in terms of minutes per shot from inside the box, Salah led the way with an effort every 40.77 minutes, stronger than Firmino (44.48), Mane (44.96) and Coutinho (52.21).

Salah also compares favourably in terms of creativity, averaging a chance created every 35.03 minutes, placing him ahead of both Firmino (39.86) and Mane (51.09), although Coutinho (34.54) does again lead the way.

Those numbers suggest that Salah can rival last season’s star trio, which will make identifying the optimum target even more tricky.

The pricing of the quartet will be a significant factor in how we view their prospects.

Mane and Coutinho are surely in line for price hikes after averaging 5.8 and 5.5 points per match in Fantasy Premier League (FPL) last season, placing them among the top seven midfielders.

They may come in somewhere between 9.0 to 10 in FPL, while Firmino could be re-classified as a forward in the game after playing the majority of his football as a central striker in 2016/17.

Salah’s impressive output for Roma last season suggests an expected price in FPL of between 8.5 and 9.0, which should be slightly cheaper than both Mane and Coutinho.

Should Salah, who is nicknamed the “Egyptian Messi,” hit the ground running to establish himself as a regular starter, he will surely attract interest away from last season’s assets.

Looking at Liverpool’s opening schedule, they face favourable match-ups over the first two Gameweeks (wat, CPL), before being handed testing encounters at home to Arsenal and away to Manchester City.

There will be some temptation to trust Klopp’s attack from the off, but unless pre-season offers clear indication of a favoured route, Fantasy managers could again endure frustration.

While the move to Chelsea perhaps came too early in Salah’s career, he returns to England a much more rounded player – and one that looks capable of adding a new dimension to the Liverpool attack.

Jose Mourinho has a history of discarding players early in their careers, with Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku the prime examples who have since established themselves as top performers in the Premier League.

Salah’s failings at Chelsea should perhaps be discounted and could benefit the player by helping him understand the demands of the Premier League stage.

For now, Salah’s arrival muddies the waters in our assessment of the Reds’ midfield. That’s an all too familiar problem, though the winger has the potential to emerge from the pack.

Further Reference

Mohamed Salah Wikipedia

Mohamed Salah Transfer Markt Page

Mohamed Salah You Tube

540 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Dreams
    • 7 Years
    6 years, 11 months ago

    What's up with all the PL signings this year? They all look like 40 year old men suffering from midlife crisis.

    1. meerlight
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 12 Years
      6 years, 11 months ago

      Cheer up. This article's about a 25 yo 🙂

  2. Syd.
    • 15 Years
    6 years, 11 months ago

    Sam Warburton comes on

    Lions fall apart

    #GatlandOut

    1. Doosra - ☭DeclanMyGenius…
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 14 Years
      6 years, 11 months ago

      #nosurprisethere

  3. electrue
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    6 years, 11 months ago

    Morning. Had a terrible dream that Klaassen scored a brace in gw1 and I was the only one in the game not to own him. 🙁

    1. Nickemon
      • 14 Years
      6 years, 11 months ago

      You have a difficult decision to make in a few weeks then. 😉

    2. Deulofail
      • 8 Years
      6 years, 11 months ago

      I dreamt I had to defend my loved ones from an onslaught of intruding bears in some kind of isolated mountain resort with a shotgun.

      1. Dreams
        • 7 Years
        6 years, 11 months ago

        😆 maybe you were watching the revenant.

        1. Deulofail
          • 8 Years
          6 years, 11 months ago

          In my dream? I've never seen it in real life. Would be good to have access to films in my dreams so I don't have to pay extortionate cinema prices.

          1. Dreams
            • 7 Years
            6 years, 11 months ago

            I mean you were in a state where you could not differentiate between yourself and Leonardo. Maybe it's not a dream.

            1. Deulofail
              • 8 Years
              6 years, 11 months ago

              Yeah or maybe a bear made The Revenant

    3. bojack
      • 7 Years
      6 years, 11 months ago

      Ah the FPL dreams have started.

      I dreamed last year that Hazard got a hattrick for Arsenal. Bizzare.

  4. FPL Virgin
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    6 years, 11 months ago

    Can't comment on this article by GB http://www.fantasyfootballscout.co.uk/2017/06/24/analysing-last-seasons-clean-sheets/?hc_page=1#hc_comment_15808303

    Is this clean sheet ticker available in the members area?

  5. Je suis le chat
    • 10 Years
    6 years, 11 months ago

    Brilliant article GB, shame we can't post. I'll print it off, frame it and base my rotating defenders from the likes of West Ham, Bournemouth on it. Best article I've read in a year.

  6. Je suis le chat
    • 10 Years
    6 years, 11 months ago

    Warrens pussycats are getting whipped by the New Zealanders. Karma for boycotting the likes of Jonnie Gray.

    1. Doosra - ☭DeclanMyGenius…
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 14 Years
      6 years, 11 months ago

      + 42.