Liverpool: Mohamed Salah would be mad to leave Anfield for Madrid
Rumours have linked Liverpool’s Player of the Season with a world-record transfer to Real Madrid, but the Egyptian would be foolish to leave the Premier League
To the surprise of few, from the moment Mohamed Salah was confirmed as the Premier League’s Player of the Season, the Egyptian has been touted as Real Madrid’s next Galáctico.
With the Reds having eventually failed in their attempts to keep Barcelona’s hands off Philippe Coutinho, it is a rumour which has had some Liverpool fans twitching nervously in their seats.
However, there doesn’t really seem to be much cause for concern on Merseyside. Salah is clearly happy there, his beaming smile has been an ever-present feature of this season, and the club are not under any pressure to sell after a successful season.
Whether the rumour has any weight to it or whether it is simply an unsettling technique from a pro-Madrid section of the Spanish press remains to be seen, but either way, Salah would be foolish to consider leaving Anfield after only a single season.
Madrid would make any player think
It is an alluring move, sure. The Bernabeu will always be a pull, as will the chance to play alongside Cristiano Ronaldo. And, with no disrespect intended towards the English pair, if he scores 43 goals with Jordan Henderson and James Milner supplying him, you can’t help but wonder what he would do with the creative talents of Toni Kroos and Luka Modrić.
But if he did move to Spain, that is all he would be: another player alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, who isn’t Cristiano Ronaldo. Second fiddle. For a player of his quality that should never be the aim.
After a stunning first season, he is presented with a rare opportunity. If he left now, this season would be one Liverpool fans would never forget, but if he stays he can work his way onto the list of the club’s all-time greats.
You don’t have to spend much time in Liverpool to realise how keen the fans are for him to achieve this feat. For most, he has already overtaken Luis Suárez, despite the Uruguayan having spent four seasons at the club. He is loved in a way that so many players never get to experience, and that is something worth holding on to.
Liverpool on the up, Madrid in transition
The feeling around the two clubs is very different, and the tsunami of allez-fueled optimism that Liverpool have ridden to the Champions League final has created a totally different atmosphere to the win-or-be-whistled pressure cooker in Madrid.
The Spanish club’s league form this season belies a squad in need of a facelift, an injection of fresh blood and fresh ideas. It is hard to find a fault in their starting eleven but it has remained constant for too long and looks to be going stale, despite the prospect of yet another Champions League trophy.
Salah would surely be better served remaining at a club which seems to be reaching escape velocity to move to the next level under Jürgen Klopp. The pieces are coming together, and more are on their way; Naby Keïta certainly, Nabil Fekir possibly, others likely.
They are more than capable of challenging for the league title next season, something Salah would love to be a part of.
Can Salah do it all again?
There is also the argument he still has something to prove in England. That seems like a ridiculous statement given the season he has had, but keep in mind that Harry Kane had to be both a One-Season Wonder and a Two-Season Wonder before people accepted him as a world-class centre forward. Salah has done it once – doing it again is the hard part.
There is no reason to doubt he can do it though Klopp may be secretly hoping for an early World Cup exit for Egypt so his main man can have a bit of time off. The physical exertion his style puts on his players is well documented and was touted as one of the causes of his Borussia Dortmund team’s demise.
One of the other reasons, of course, was the loss of his star men Robert Lewandowski and Mario Götze to a more illustrious rival. Klopp will hope to avoid a repeat of that scenario – and Salah should hardly even consider it.
Will Salah move to Real Madrid? Let us know in the comments section below.