The Egyptian king Mohamed Salah’s contract situation might not be clear, but the forward’s status as an all-time Liverpool great is hardly in doubt.
Salah has been in the form of his life so far this season and his goal against AC Milan in the Champions League on Tuesday took his tally to 20 in all competitions – and we’ve only reached 7 December.
By date, only Reds legends Ian Rush (7 November) and Roger Hunt (25 November) have reached the landmark more quickly than Salah, who has also provided nine assists.
It was not a stellar showing from the former Fiorentina and Roma player at the San Siro.
But he was still given a standing ovation by the home supporters when he made his way off the pitch just after the hour mark.
“Without the era of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, how would we think of Mohamed Salah right now?” asked Pat Nevin on BBC Radio 5 Live. “We would think of him as the best in the business.”
Former Celtic boss Neil Lennon said:
“Mohamed Salah is up there with any other player I’ve seen in the past few years.
He is the closest player I’ve seen to Lionel Messi.”
Liverpool fell behind to England defender Fikayo Tomori’s effort for AC Milan before Salah equalised on 36 minutes for Jurgen Klopp’s men.
The forward was quickest to react to goalkeeper Mike Maignan’s save from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s shot, firing in a first-time finish from the rebound into the roof of the net.
“When Salah had his shot, he took it when the ball was on the rise,” said Nevin.
“Nobody takes it when the ball is on the rise, they take it when it’s going down.
“He thinks about things in a different way. He seems to get power out of his left foot in a way that only Lionel Messi can.”
However, there are still questions about Salah’s long-term future at Anfield, with the Egyptian yet to sign a new contract and his current deal set to expire in 2023.
Reds boss Klopp had sounded optimistic this week that his star man will agree a new deal, something former Anfield striker Michael Owen also believes will happen.
Owen told BT Sport:
“His contract will get sorted out, but these things are complicated.
This is probably the last big contract of his career so he’s got to take his time about things.
“Where can he go at the minute? Spanish football is struggling.”
Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand added:
“Do you think he is sitting there with his agent and saying ‘just go and search out the highest paid player in the league and put me a couple of pound above them’? He’s the best player in the league at the moment.”