Mohamed Salah is Liverpool’s top scorer in the Premier League with 15 goals this season but Jamie Carragher believes the forward is underappreciated by the club’s own supporters.
“I think Mo Salah is seen as world class by those on the outside but with Liverpool fans I think he is a little bit underappreciated,” Carragher told Monday Night Football.
“Certainly going from that first season to what he is doing now, there has been a bit of a dip. But he was never going to score another 47 goals in a season.
“Speaking to Liverpool fans and looking at social media, I think Liverpool have got six world-class players. I think they have the goalkeeper, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Salah.
“I think if you asked Liverpool fans whether they would take big money for the other five, they would all say no, no matter what the money.
“There is no way they would sell Alisson or Van Dijk. But if you offered them £130m for Salah, they would think about it.
“That is why I say he is underappreciated.”
Carragher has identified two reasons why Salah’s reputation among fans might not be as high as his goal record deserves it to be.
“He is a wide forward who plays narrow which means he is constantly marked when he receives the ball,” added Carragher. “He almost marks himself in a way.
“But he is not as strong as Mane and he is not as clever as Firmino when the ball comes in to him. So he does lose the ball a lot in situations like that. It can be frustrating watching Salah.
“There is also no doubt that there is a selfish side to him. We saw that come out with Mane earlier in the season. When Salah is in position all he is thinking is whether he can score.
“At times, that’s a frustration.”
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However, Carragher believes that such frustrations must be overlooked because of the bigger picture – the sheer numbers that point to Salah’s importance to Liverpool.
“I played with wide players at Anfield who would never score a goal. They would go through a season and score one goal because they were obsessed with getting chalk on their boots, getting side on against the full-back and running at them.
“Salah is going to lose the ball but he is also going to score goals.
“Salah gets a lot of assists too. Only Lionel Messi has more goals and assists than Salah in Europe’s top five leagues since he joined Liverpool.
“The big thing I like about him is that he is never injured. You see Liverpool play and he is there week in and week out. Ninety-seven appearances out of 102 (now 98 out of 103).
“If you look at minutes per goal, there might be others. But if I am a manager I want someone who is playing week in and week out, never misses a game and delivers.
“If you looked at Liverpool’s front three and asked fans which one they would rather go, every one of them would say Salah. But then you look at those numbers.
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“There is talk of Kylian Mbappe being the dream for Liverpool. Maybe that’s not realistic.
“There is also talk of Jadon Sancho. That probably is realistic for every top team in the Premier League. Mbappe is world class, maybe the man to overtake Messi and Ronaldo. Sancho is on the verge of being world class.
“But I think it would be so difficult for them, in their first two-and-a-half years at Liverpool, to get those numbers. That is why Liverpool need to be careful. Look at the numbers. Only Lionel Messi in European football is above this man.
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