‘I think there’s a feeling he’ll take the big move’: Gary Neville believes Mohamed Salah is using Liverpool as a ‘stepping stone’ to Barcelona or Real Madrid and that’s why fans struggle to warm to the Egyptian
- Neville believes Salah will use Liverpool as a ‘stepping stone’ to a big move
- He says Barcelona and Real Madrid represent the ‘pinnacle’ of football
- Sky Sports pundit thinks it explains why Liverpool fans don’t warm to Salah
- Egyptian scored his 19th goal of the season as Liverpool beat West Ham 3-2
Gary Neville believes Mohamed Salah is using Liverpool as a ‘stepping stone’ to reach the ‘pinnacle’ of football at Barcelona or Real Madrid.
The Egyptian star has scored 90 goals in 140 Liverpool appearances since arriving in 2017, helping them win the Champions League and taking them to the brink of Premier League glory.
But despite Jurgen Klopp’s side sitting 22 points clear at the top of the table, Sky Sports pundit and former Manchester United defender Neville believes Salah may have loftier ambitions.
Gary Neville has suggested that Mohamed Salah is using Liverpool as a ‘stepping stone’ to playing for either Barcelona or Real Madrid later in his career
Neville believes Liverpool fans expect Salah to ‘take the big move’ to one of the Spanish teams
‘It’s never easy to replace a player like that,’ Neville said on Sky’s Monday Night Football ahead of Liverpool’s 3-2 win over West Ham.
‘I said 18 months ago I thought Mo Salah would leave Liverpool.
‘I think it’s a little bit more simple in the sense of why Liverpool fans maybe don’t demonstrate that love for Salah, and it’s affinity and loyalty.
‘I think there’s a feeling that he wants to go and play at Real Madrid, he’ll go to Barcelona, he’ll take the big move.
‘That’s not a criticism of Mo Salah. I played with David Beckham, I played with Ruud van Nistelrooy, played with Cristiano Ronaldo – they wanted to aspire to win the Ballon d’Or, they wanted to be at Real Madrid, they wanted to be up in lights and play at the biggest clubs in the world.
‘I think there’s a feeling, affinity, loyalty, ‘will he leave us?’ I think he could.
Salah celebrates scoring Liverpool’s second goal as they defeated West Ham 3-2 on Monday
It was the Egyptian forward’s 19th goal of another successful campaign with Liverpool
Salah stats this season
Minutes per goal: 164
‘I think he is ultimately using Liverpool potentially as a stepping stone for his career.
‘He has aspirations to be [playing at a higher level]. Let’s be honest, Real Madrid and Barcelona for a lot of players are the pinnacle.’
Neville added: ‘When a player doesn’t celebrate other players’ goals or is popular with the team, when a player looks selfish and doesn’t pass to his team-mates when you’ve got a spirit like Liverpool have got, again those things just erode a little bit of confidence in the fans.
‘Some players just aren’t naturally as popular as others purely because of the fact they are a little bit more selfish.
‘Salah would be upset I think if a team won 2-0 and he missed two chances and didn’t score.’
Salah gets a hug of appreciation from his manager Jurgen Klopp following Monday’s victory
Jamie Carragher believes the Egyptian is underappreciated by Liverpool supporters
Salah, 27, has scored 19 goals and contributed nine assists for Liverpool in what has been another memorable season.
Yet despite this, Neville’s fellow Sky Sports pundit and former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher agreed that Salah is under-appreciated by fans.
‘With Mo Salah – I think he is underappreciated,’ Carragher said.
‘Salah is seen as world class outside, but with Liverpool fans I think he is a little bit underappreciated. Certainly going from what he did in his first season to now, there is a slight dip.’
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