Mohamed Salah may miss World Cup with dislocated shoulder

The shoulder injury Mohamed Salah sustained during Liverpool’s Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid on Saturday evening is ‘serious’, Jürgen Klopp confirmed.

The forward was forced from the field after 30 minutes having failed to recover from a dodgy tackle by Sergio Ramos which saw the Spanish international lock arms with Salah, pull him over, and land on top of Salah’s arm and shoulder, with it appearing that the Liverpool star suffered a dislocated shoulder.  Salah later went to a local hospital in Kiev for assessment.

Klopp told his post-match press conference: “It’s a serious injury, a really serious injury.

“He is in the hospital for an X-ray. It’s either the collarbone or the shoulder itself. It doesn’t look good, that’s it.”

Mohamed Salah’s injury appears to be serious enough that his participation in the World Cup is now in question.

Steven Gerrard labelled Salah ‘the best player on the planet right now’

Steven Gerrard labelled Mohamed Salah ‘the best player on the planet right now’ after the Liverpool forward inspired a 5-2 win against AS Roma.

The Egyptian was the architect of his former club’s downfall in Tuesday night’s Champions League semi-final first leg at Anfield, opening up a two-goal lead before the interval with a trademark curled finish and a calm dink.

Salah – who now has 43 for the season, four short of Ian Rush’s club-record 47 – then set up strikes for Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino as the Reds took control of the tie ahead of next week’s return in Rome.

And Gerrard, who was Liverpool’s talisman in the run to European Cup glory in 2005, was impressed enough to argue that nobody in world football can currently match the No.11:

“He is in the form of his life.  It’s difficult to compare him to [Cristiano] Ronaldo and [Lionel] Messi because they have done it for so long and they have been consistent year in, year out. But without a shadow of a doubt he’s the best player on the planet right now.”

Salah on course to score 35 league goals this season

At his current rate of 0.93 goals per Premier League game, Salah is on course to score 35 league goals this season. There is good reason to think that he might easily hit that target given Liverpool still have to play Bournemouth, Stoke City and Brighton at Anfield, and Crystal Palace and West Brom away from home.

Should Salah reach that figure of 35, it would be a landmark achievement. The Egyptian only needs four goals to surpass the highest ever goal total in a 38-game Premier League season, but 35 would make him the highest goalscorer in any English top-flight season since Ron Davies for Southampton in 1966/67.

A player signed as a wide forward has not just scored goals at a surprising rate, but a rate above anything we have seen in 50 years of English football.

Jurgen Klopp’s post-game summation of Salah understandably generated plenty of headlines:

“I think Mo is on the way. I don’t think Mo or anybody else wants to be compared with Lionel Messi – he is the one who has been doing what he’s been doing for what feels like 20 years or so. The last player I know who had the same influence on a team performance was Diego Maradona. But Mo is in a fantastic way, that’s for sure.”

You can’t really doubt that assessment, although Klopp knows as well as anyone that saying the M-word will inevitably lead to Messi comparisons. Salah has produced a ‘Messi season’, one in which everything he touches turns to gold and one in which at times he is simply unplayable. There is no possible defence for this.

To judge this success story, we have to look at where it came from. Salah’s fee looks remarkably cheap now, but there was a reason for it. He was a creator as much as a finisher, but also a player who was prone to inconsistency. Liverpool were not fighting off interest from dozens of other clubs.

“It’s a lot of money for Liverpool to buy a player, who, if everybody is fit, I don’t think starts,” said former Liverpool player (and now pundit) Steve Nicol, and it was hardly an outrageous suggestion at the time with Philippe Coutinho, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino in place.

From that place of doubt, Salah has potentially made himself the best single-season goalscorer in the last 50 years of English football. Kevin de Bruyne might have been the Premier League’s best player and thus deserving of the PFA’s award, but Salah has produced the single most astonishing achievement of the season.

How Mo Salah made an eight-year-old’s shirt dream come true

Within minutes of scoring one of the great individual goals at Anfield on Sunday afternoon, Mohamed Salah made an eight-year-old fan’s dream come true.

Joseph Clarendon was sat with his mum, Angela, for Liverpool’s Premier League clash with Tottenham Hotspur, his first ever game at the stadium.

When he found out he would be attending the match earlier in the day, the young supporter instantly made a decision that led to an unforgettable moment with his hero.  Joe created a homemade sign reading: “Mo Salah, can I have your shirt please?”

But he could not have imagined the hopeful request would be fulfilled.  His grandfather, Jimmy McKenna, takes up the story.

“It was my 60th birthday on Sunday and I should have gone to the match as a birthday present. But we had a party on Saturday night and I was a bit worse for wear!”

“I was supposed to go with Joe’s brother but he was up with us and didn’t want to go, so my daughter took Joe.

“It is the first game he has ever been to and he did the sign himself when he found out he was going. He held the sign up for the whole 90 minutes.

“He told his mum halfway through the game that his arms were hurting him, but he just held it up higher! He loved the game and he was made up when Mo Salah scored because he’s his favourite player.”

Despite Salah’s sensational solo strike in the 91st minute to put Liverpool ahead, further late drama denied Jürgen Klopp’s team three points.

Harry Kane’s penalty with virtually the last kick of the game snatched a 2-2 draw for Spurs and left Joe with a ‘broken heart’.

His despair turned to delight in a matter of seconds, though. With the help of the supporters sat nearby him grabbing Salah’s attention, the Egyptian made a course towards the crowd before he headed back to the dressing room.

Joe’s spot in the stand was his destination, that much-desired shirt his special gift to the young Red.

“My daughter wasn’t expecting anything to come of it, she just let him make the sign,” said Jimmy.

“As Mo Salah was running over and taking his shirt off, all the fans around him were shouting, ‘you’re going to get the shirt!’ It was a good experience for him.

“We saw him afterwards and he had the shirt on over his coat. He was made up!”

Salah level with Kane in PL goalscoring chart at halfway point

Mohamed Salah leads the way alongside Harry Kane at the summit of the Premier League goalscoring chart with half of the season now completed.

The Egypt international has raced to 15 strikes in England’s top division this term since Liverpool swooped to secure his signature from AS Roma in the summer.

His most recent goal came in Friday night’s 3-3 draw with Arsenal at Emirates Stadium – which had put Salah three clear of Tottenham Hotspur’s Kane.

But the Englishman struck a hat-trick this evening to draw level with the Reds forward in the race for the league’s Golden Boot at its midway point.

Sergio Aguero (12), Raheem Sterling (12), Romelu Lukaku (10) and Wayne Rooney (10) also form part of the chasing pack ahead of the second half of 2017-18.

 

Salah reaches 10 Premier League goals in record-equalling time

Mohamed Salah’s 65th-minute goal in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea equalled a club record set by Daniel Sturridge during the 2012-13 season.

The Egyptian forward’s strike against the Blues took his Premier League tally to 10 goals in just 13 games and no player has done it quicker for the Reds.

The Liverpool No.11 matched a milestone set by Daniel Sturridge, who netted his 10th Premier League strike with the final goal of a hat-trick against Fulham in the penultimate game of his debut season.

The pair sit top of the club standings ahead of the likes of Robbie Fowler and Fernando Torres, who both took 18 games to score 10 Premier League goals.

Salah, who has scored 15 goals in all competitions for the Reds, is also the Premier League’s leading goalscorer this season, one ahead of Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero and Tottenham’s Harry Kane who both have nine.

‘Salah is on schedule to score 25 goals this season’

Mohamed Salah’s scoring exploits have surpassed Jamie Carragher’s expectations – and the Liverpool legend believes the forward could reach 25 goals this season.

In breaking the deadlock against Maribor on Wednesday night with a deft, angled flick at the Kop end, the summer signing achieved double figures in just his 16th appearance.

The goals have flowed from the very start of the campaign for the Egypt international and Carragher sees no reason why Salah cannot continue to add heavily to that haul:

“Of all the transfers last summer, none has had more impact than Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah”

“When I saw Salah score his first for the club at Watford on the opening day, I felt this was a player who would score 15 this season. I underestimated. He is on schedule to get 25.

“The Egyptian is more than a traditional winger. He is a wide striker with the ability to get into goalscoring positions every time he plays.

“Just as with the signing of Sadio Mane in 2016, [Liverpool] have spent very well in bringing Salah back to England after his disappointing spell at Chelsea.”