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Mohamed Salah’s special season makes him a deserving PFA Player of the Year winner

4 min read

Mohamed Salah has been named PFA Player of the Year after scoring 31 goals in 33 Premier League appearances for Liverpool. Here’s how his special season made him a deserving winner.

Jurgen Klopp described Mohamed Salah as having the “perfect mix of experience and potential” when he welcomed him to Liverpool back in June. The Egyptian was a “really exciting signing” with “incredible” qualities and an “ambitious” character. Klopp had high expectations, in other words, but even he could not have anticipated the full extent of his impact.

 

He could not have anticipated that Salah, remembered in England for an unsuccessful stint at Chelsea, would produce one of the best individual seasons the Premier League has ever seen. With his beautifully-taken strike against West Brom on Saturday, he became only the fifth player in the division’s history to reach 31 goals in a single campaign.

 

Alan Shearer, Andy Cole, Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez are the other men to have achieved that feat but Salah could yet outstrip them all. With three games of the season remaining, he needs four more goals to set a new Premier League record. Having hit seven in his last four, it could be said that the more surprising outcome would be if he didn’t.

Even in a year in which Manchester City have raced to the Premier League title in such stunning fashion, Salah’s relentless form was impossible to ignore in the PFA Player of the Year voting. There is a 16-point gap between Liverpool and City in the table, but Salah’s performances are unmatched. He collected the prize on Sunday as a deserving winner.

 

Salah has exceeded everyone’s expectations but the clues were there from the start. Liverpool wrapped up his signing early – something for which Klopp would later thank his scouting department – and Salah hit the ground running, scoring four times in pre-season and marking his competitive debut with a goal against Watford on the opening day.

With his scintillating speed, bewitching movement and tireless work ethic, Salah slotted in seamlessly. He scored once and set up another in the 4-0 win over Arsenal on only his second start, and there were further goals against Burnley and Leicester – as well Champions League strikes against Hoffenheim and Sevilla – before the start of October.

 

Salah had scored six times in 11 appearances for Liverpool at that point – an impressive return by almost anyone’s standards – but it wasn’t until after he returned from international duty – where his 95th-minute penalty against Congo sent Egypt to their first World Cup finals for almost 30 years – that his goalscoring hit truly outrageous levels.

 

“We all have these game-changing moments in our life and maybe that was one of them,” reflected Klopp months later. “If you deliver in a situation like this, what can happen to you then? That was real pressure.”

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah is presented with the PFA Player Of The Year Award during the 2018 PFA Awards at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday April 22, 2018. See PA story SOCCER PFA. Photo credit should read: Steven Paston/PA Wire. 

With his scintillating speed, bewitching movement and tireless work ethic, Salah slotted in seamlessly. He scored once and set up another in the 4-0 win over Arsenal on only his second start, and there were further goals against Burnley and Leicester – as well Champions League strikes against Hoffenheim and Sevilla – before the start of October.

 

Salah had scored six times in 11 appearances for Liverpool at that point – an impressive return by almost anyone’s standards – but it wasn’t until after he returned from international duty – where his 95th-minute penalty against Congo sent Egypt to their first World Cup finals for almost 30 years – that his goalscoring hit truly outrageous levels.

 

“We all have these game-changing moments in our life and maybe that was one of them,” reflected Klopp months later. “If you deliver in a situation like this, what can happen to you then? That was real pressure.”

Salah has already scored more league goals than he managed across two seasons with former club Roma and his coolness in front of goal has been remarkable. Salah can dink it over the keeper or slam it into the top corner, but for the majority of his goals he has simply passed it into the net. Even when carrying the ball at

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah is presented with the PFA Player Of The Year Award during the 2018 PFA Awards at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday April 22, 2018. See PA story SOCCER PFA. Photo credit should read: Steven Paston/PA Wire. 

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