Mo Salah is in the form of his life and getting better with age, but he’s 30 soon and a new deal would ruin Liverpool’s wage structure… the pros and cons of a bumper contract after Peter Crouch called for him to be the Premier League’s TOP earner
- Superstar Mohamed Salah has 18 months left on his current contract at Liverpool
- He has scored at least 20 goals for the Anfield outfit in five successive seasons
- Peter Crouch believes he should be the Premier League’s highest-earning player
- But a new deal would ruin the club’s wage structure and take him into his thirties
- Here, Sportsmail takes a look at the pros and cons for fresh terms for the forward
With his close-range effort at the San Siro, Mohamed Salah became the first Liverpool player since Ian Rush in the 1980s to score at least 20 goals in five successive seasons. It is a formidable record, and he’s not done just yet.
‘He is relentless,’ Peter Crouch said at full-time, before calling for the superstar forward to be handed a bumper new deal at Anfield. ‘It is easy for Liverpool to take their foot off the gas but they’ve not done that and that finish is so good.
‘He is the best player in the Premier League at the moment so whatever the next person is on, give him more than that.’
Mohamed Salah became the first Liverpool player since Ian Rush to score 20 goals in a season
After his goal against AC Milan, Peter Crouch called for Salah to be the top-flight’s best earner
Boss Jurgen Klopp has remained optimistic that Salah will put pen to paper, but there has been no agreement made as of yet. As it stands, he will walk away from the club – with his head undoubtedly held high – in just 18 months’ time.
When he first joined Liverpool, the £39million deal raised eyebrows. He struggled during his spell at Chelsea before heading to Roma and rejuvenating his career, and from there a move to Merseyside materialised. He has not looked back since.
‘We’re talking – and extending the contract for a player like Mo is not one where you meet for a cup of tea and find an agreement in the afternoon,’ Klopp has said.
Salah is yet to sign a new deal to remain at Anfield, with an impasse over his wage demands
He added: ‘Mo is fine, I’m fine. What we all want is clear. Things like this take time.
‘I think what we all want is clear things. It needs time, that is it.’
So, while the club and Salah continue to sit down and thrash out terms over a new deal, Sportsmail takes a look at the pros and cons of the contract…
To no surprise, Salah is on fire in front of goal. This season, he has already reached the 20-goal milestone, and has done so in just 21 appearances. In the Premier League, he leads the way with 13 and is in red-hot form every week.
Across his career in the top-flight, he has scored 108 goals, and picked up 42 assists. Considering these numbers have come in 160 games, Salah has proven time and time again across a number of seasons that he is a lethal figure inside the box.
In total, he has 145 goals to his name for Liverpool. He has been their best player in the years since he arrived, and will continue to be just that if, or when, he signs his new contract. In light of his statistics, the decision is a no-brainer.
Salah has already scored 20 goals this season, and is the leading scorer in the Premier League
Ability to create magic out of nothing
How many times have Liverpool supporters seen Salah dance his way inside and unleash an unstoppable rocket into the top corner?
Liverpool often play breath-taking and wonderfully fluid football but, like any other team, sometimes struggle to create chances. It is in these moments that Salah comes good almost every time, thanks to his ability to create magic out of nowhere.
Whether it is a bending effort arched beyond the goalkeeper’s reach, or a delicate lob which drops inches under the crossbar to send the crowd wild, he can do it all. To top it all off, his shirt-shedding celebration has become iconic, too.
Time and time again, Salah has created magic out of nothing to rescue Liverpool many points
Favourite with supporters
Salah has a real connection with Liverpool fans, perhaps unlike any other. His heroics during his stint on Merseyside have formed a strong bond between them, and he has repaid their patience and support with his enviable number of goals.
Songs lauding the forward rain down from every stand at Anfield on matchdays, and the club’s travelling contingentlove nothing more than celebrating him during away days up and down the country. Who can blame them?
What is certain is that this relationship will become stronger if Salah does decide to sign an extension. Now 30, that deal would take him to a ripe age, one where an attacker typically has to change their game. They will be patient for that, too.
He also holds a strong relationship with supporters and they will hope he puts pen to paper
The best player in the world currently
Salah insisted that he would have ‘no problem’ if he fails to win the Ballon d’Or during his career, and then said he was the ‘best player in the world’. It was a bullish self-declaration, but the simple fact is that his point is a very good one.
Despite finishing seventh in this year’s vote, regardless of his scintillating form this campaign, he refuses to let his time on the field be defined by individual accolades – and to cope with this, he reveals he tells himself that he is the finest footballer there is.
Both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo regularly tussle for that title, but it is Salah who has usurped both of them this year. Liverpool currently sit in second in the Premier League, and they have been fuelled by their talisman.
Salah insisted he would have ‘no problem’ if he fails to win the Ballon d’Or during his career
Club’s wage structure
Talks between Salah and Liverpool over his contract have been ongoing for some time now, and the failure to reach an agreement yet appears to stem from his wage demands. It has been reported that he is keen to earn over £300,000 a week.
This would, however, ruin the strict salary structure at the club. Currently, Virgil van Dijk is their highest earner on £220,000, with Salah £20,000 behind. That places him on an equal footing with Thiago Alcantara, and the forward wants more.
Fenway Sports Group do not typically hand out long and lavish extensions to players over the age of 30, though, and Salah will reach that threshold next June. There is an exception to be made here, and the attacker says the impasse is down to the club.
It has been reported that Salah is keen to earn over £300,000 a week to commit to Liverpool
He insisted: ‘If the decision is up to me, I want to stay in Liverpool but the decision is in the hands of the management and they have to solve this issue.’
Salah may be eyeing up that £300,000-a-week package, but pundit Crouch believes the Anfield sensation deserves more. In fact, he has called for him to become the highest paid player in the Premier League, although this is nigh on impossible.
Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo currently banks £480,000 a week, and Manchester City playmaker Kevin De Bruyne sits in second in the charts on £385,000 a week. Then, goalkeeper David de Gea is just £10,000 behind him.
There is no plausible way for Liverpool to award Salah with sums that big, but there is no doubting that he is deserving of more money. Therefore, it is down to the hierarchy to weigh up both sides of the argument in a decision crucial to their future.
Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo currently banks £480,000 a week in the top-flight
A 30-year-old footballer is certainly not old, but they tend to end to have to adapt and change elements of their game around that age. This is an intriguing crossroads Salah will arrive at next year.
He still possesses lightning-fast feet, a rapid turn of pace and a graceful touch when in possession, and these aspects are unlikely to just fade away next season. There will be a gradual decline, however, and this is where Liverpool must make a choice.
Handing Salah his new deal, and jaw-dropping wages to go with it, appears to be the right option, but this would also take him into his mid 30s. For a club so attuned to their tight structure and trusting in youth, it is a welcome dilemma to have.
Handing Salah his new deal, and jaw-dropping wages to go with it, looks to be a no brainer
Ronaldo has shown that anything is possible if you look after yourself, and Salah is doing exactly that. He remains in remarkable condition, season after season, and will report for the next campaign in exactly the same shape, eager to win more trophies.
But there is also a downside. Previous examples of clubs handing out big deals to their more experienced players have backfired horrendously – just ask some of Liverpool’s fierce rivals near the top end of the top-flight table.
Mesut Ozil, De Gea and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are just a handful of names to have been rewarded with an extension and increased financial terms, but all of these contracts have been heavily questioned and scrutinised since.
Liverpool, being the modern-age and savvy club they are, will know about these failings and will be desperate to avoid the same mistake, despite Salah’s form.
Ultimately, though, this is an easy decision – a no brainer. The Reds simply have to tie down their main man to a new deal. He is crucial to their hopes of winning more silverware in the years to come, and is deserving of the bumper contract he wants.
Salah has insisted that he wishes to remain at Liverpool, and his comments came even after reports linked him with a move to Barcelona to work under Xavi.
‘If the decision is up to me, I want to stay in Liverpool, he said. ‘I read what was said about Xavi’s interest to sign me.
Salah is crucial to Liverpool’s hopes of winning more silverware for many campaigns to come
‘This is something that makes me happy that a team like Barcelona is interested in me. But I’m happy in Liverpool and we will see what happens in the future.
‘At the moment, I prefer to stay in the Premier League as it’s the strongest league in the world.’
This appears to be the most likely outcome, but it is down to Liverpool to make the first move to bridge the gap – although that is surely just a matter of time.
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