Mohamed Salah will finally return to the English Premier League, but this time he'll be wearing a different jersey. The 25-year-old Egyptian winger has agreed to join Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool, and he's signed a five-year contract for a reported £35 million to help bolster the Merseysiders' PL and Champions League hopes. Salah's first go-round in England with Chelsea wasn't a successful one, but how does this transfer measure up for Liverpool three years later?
AS Roma via Getty ImagesLuciano Rossi
Mo Salah was amongst the paciest players in the Premier League the first time he landed in London from Basel, and that hasn't changed one bit. At 25 years old, he's approaching his prime, and may have even gotten faster since adding a bit of muscle to his frame over the past three years. In Italy, he improved tactically as a player as well, and his off-the-ball movement became even better with the three years he spent on the peninsula. Fantastic timing, paired with much-improved finishing and a better final ball, means he's perfectly suited for Jurgen Klopp's 100 mph counter-attack. Salah is well able to play on either wing, meaning he and Sadio Mane will likely regularly interchange during matches, causing constant problems for opponents who will already struggle to contain their pace, trickery and direct styles.
Salah has also turned a previous weakness into strength, having improved markedly in front of goal since arriving in Italy. Salah hit nine goals in his first season at Fiorentina, then improved to tallies of 15 and 19, respectively. He became much more efficient and composed in front of goal, and Liverpool will benefit from that improved goalscoring ability.
Getty ImagesPaolo Bruno
Despite Salah's ability to play on either wing, or through the center, he's shown a marked preference and success as an inverted winger playing down the right. That's Sadio Mane's preferred area of operation, and it'll take some solid man-management from Klopp to keep both of his wingers happy with their role and deployment. Salah has never been a brilliant crosser of the ball, and hasn't always at his best out of him when playing as a traditional winger, which could present a concern moving forward.
Salah has gotten stronger since his time three years ago in England, but he's still a rather slight player, and it remains to be seen how he'll hold up under the physical attentions of Premier League defenders for an entire season. Serie A defenders aren't exactly featherweights though, and Salah's durability over the last three years means it's likely not a huge worry moving forward.
The list of Chelsea's castoffs who have gone on to do great things is long and ever-growing. Mo Salah has been fantastic since exiting Stamford Bridge's doors, and it looks as if this move to Liverpool comes at the perfect time in his career. He's only 25 and still approaching his prime, and Liverpool have gotten him for a relatively reasonable price in this economy. His work rate, pace and creativity make him the perfect addition to Klopp's Liverpool side, and on paper, this one looks to be a fantastic fit.