Liverpool have handed new contracts to a number of their most important stars over the course of the summer, but a failure to so far hand Mohamed Salah a deal he’s willing to sign sticks out
Video LoadingVideo UnavailableClick to playTap to playThe video will auto-play soon8CancelPlay nowBlood Red: Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah Scores 100th Premier League GoalopinionByAndy Dunn
- 21:00, 16 Sep 2021
After Liverpool’s win at Elland Road last Sunday, Jurgen Klopp gave a telling insight into the mindset of Mohamed Salah.
“What a player,” declared Klopp. “And he’s still hungry. I saw him in the dressing-room and we were all in the situation concerning Harvey Elliott but he was still not happy for not scoring one or two other goals.”
Shame about Harvey, isn’t it, Mo? Yeah, but I can’t believe I didn’t get a hat-trick.
Obviously, it was not like that. Salah would have been as concerned as all of his team-mates about Elliott’s well-being. It would have been his first thought.
But the perfectionist in a truly elite player is never far from the surface. The selfishness of a truly great goalscorer is a badge of honour, not a black mark.
Salah is a truly elite player and a truly great goalscorer. Salah is a perfectionist and is selfish.
Salah celebrates scoring against Leeds
For someone who has won a whole slew of individual honours, it seems a strange thing to say but Salah still seems to be slightly under-appreciated.
Off the cuff, name your top half-dozen players in the world.
I might be wrong but I bet there are a good few out there who would not have Salah in that bracket.
Well, he IS in that bracket and will want to be paid accordingly under the terms of any new contract.
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When you look around at the money earned by the likes of Kevin de Bruyne, Lionel Messi, Kylain Mbappe, Cristiano Ronaldo, Romelku Lukaku and Neymar, a ballpark figure would be around £400,000 a week.
Liverpool and Fenway Sports Group would do well to stretch to that sort of money but you could not blame Salah for asking.
He turns 30 next June but, considering his fitness record, Salah should have another seven productive years, at least.
But surely his options would be limited if he decided to look for money elsewhere?
Yes, but if Mbappe does go to Real Madrid next summer, there is at least one club that could pay Salah the big, big numbers.
And he is so good that Salah for Mbappe would be no downgrade.
Mohamed Salah of Liverpool FC celebrates after scoring his team's second goal vs AC Milan
DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
With his brilliance undimmed, his statistics telling a startling story, and that crucial two-year countdown to the end of his current deal already well under way, Salah holds plenty of cards when it comes to negotiations.
Recently, Liverpool have been proficient in extending contracts.
After Georginio Wijnaldum walked away for nothing, the club has secured fresh, long-term commitments from Andy Robertson, Virgil van Dijk, Alisson, Fabinho and Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Good work, but Salah might be harder work.
For a moment, consider some of those statistics. His goal at Elland Road was his 100th in 162 Premier League appearances.
Across all competitions for Liverpool, he has scored 129 in 208 outings.
Yes, he takes the penalties – and Wednesday’s miss against Milan was his first in 18 attempts – but it is still a fantastic record.
It is the sort of scoring contribution that demands special acclaim and, like it or not, it is the type of scoring contribution that demands special remuneration.
So, if there is some sort of wage structure at Anfield and they have to break it to keep Salah at Anfield for good, then that is what they should do.
He is that special.
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