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Salah testing the waters but he is still a huge asset

Egyptian striker's comments show some signs of discontent with Liverpool


Unsettled: Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah has been showing an interest in joining another club. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire

Unsettled: Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah has been showing an interest in joining another club. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire

Unsettled: Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah has been showing an interest in joining another club. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire

Mohamed Salah has shown some signs of discontent at Liverpool in recent days, but this is not the moment for him to be pushing for a transfer.

His interview with a Spanish newspaper expressing his admiration for Real Madrid and Barcelona was the first part of this story and some of his comments will not have been well received by Anfield chiefs.

It seems he was unhappy that Red boss Jurgen Klopp named Trent Alexander-Arnold as captain for the Champions League game against FC Midtjylland earlier this month, while he also said it was up to the club whether he got a new contract.

Then came round two, as his international team-mate and friend Mohamed Aboutrika went on TV to suggest Salah is unhappy at Liverpool, adding to the suspicion that this may be the start of an attempt to get a move next summer.

After the way Real Madrid targeted Salah and took him out of the 2018 Champions League final with some roughhouse tactics, I'm surprised he was talking up the club and saying how much he admired them.

Yet the reality remains that most players still see Real Madrid and Barcelona as the ultimate destination in their careers and the fact that Salah doesn't get recognition in the annual awards for best player in the game might be annoying him.

He may feel he would have a better chance of winning the Ballon d'Or if he was playing for one of the big two clubs in Spain, yet I just don't see how that can happen in 2021.

Considering everything that has gone on in the world and especially in football amid this global pandemic, I don't see Real Madrid or Barcelona paying €150million for anyone next summer and that's what would be required to get Salah out of Liverpool.

He is one of the world's best players, a huge commercial asset, given his popularity in his native Egypt, and he still has plenty of years ahead of him to achieve all his ambitions.

If Salah is committed to Liverpool for the long-term, the events over the weekend may well have been a play to get a bigger contract out of the club.

We all know how football works these days and if that is what he wants, the club should sit down with his advisers and consider whether it is possible.

If not, he still has a long time left on his contract and Liverpool don't need to sell him so long as he is performing as he has done this season.

There have been times when Salah has gone off the boil in the last 18 months, but the flashes of brilliance he serves up regularly confirms what a class act he is.

The second of the two goals he scored when he came off the bench at Crystal Palace last weekend was a stroke of casual genius from a player who has gone to a whole new level since he started working with the best manager of them all at Liverpool.

Obviously, I hope Salah stays, but if he is still agitating for something new this time next year, then the club might start to look at what happens next.

He will be 29 by then and if the Covid-19 vaccines have got us out of the mess we are in at this moment, maybe Liverpool would look at a mega-money offer for Salah.

We know how efficient the club's recruitment department has been in recent years - as we saw when Philippe Coutinho was sold for £142million to Barcelona. It worked in the team's favour as it funded the deals for Virgil van Dijk and then Alisson Becker.

Any player would relish the chance to play for this brilliant team and work under Klopp and if I was in Salah's shoes, I'd want to stay at Liverpool until I was carried out of the club.

Yet foreign players don't have the same kind of affinity that someone like myself would have for Liverpool and Salah might feel the grass will be greener or maybe the money will be bigger elsewhere.

Liverpool fans won't worry about Salah or his friend making these public comments so long as he continues to deliver on the field and there is no sign that he won't do that at this moment.

So for me, this is a story that can be put on the back burner for the next few months and may be revised in the summer of 2022 when, hopefully, we are all in a much better place.

Finally, I'd like to wish all Herald readers a Happy Christmas and here's hoping we have a little hope injected into all our lives very soon.