The Egyptian will allow the Reds to have more variety and unpredictability to their offensive play, while reducing the reliance on Sadio Mane
Speed, goals, assists, strength in the counter-press plus chance creation and possessing the tirelessness that typifies Liverpool’s attack – Mohamed Salah is certain to further Jurgen Klopp’s authoritative blueprint next season.
The 25-year-old’s long-awaited transfer from Roma to Anfield is expected to be wrapped up by Thursday, in a deal which could rise to a club-record outlay of £39 million if multiple add-ons are triggered.
In the current market, it represents excellent business for the Reds, who are landing a stylistically perfect player who complements their forward options and corrects weaknesses in the squad.
His acceleration, directness and appetite to be the difference in the final third will ease Liverpool’s over-reliance on Sadio Mane.
Moreover, dropping Salah into Liverpool’s front three would see Philippe Coutinho start in midfield, where he can have more influence on a game and inject more creativity – especially against sides committed to deep defending.
Like many of his soon-to-be team-mates, the Egypt international is versatile and as such, would promote the fluidity the manager strongly advocates.
“The more dominant you are, the less important the formation or system you play is,” Klopp explained in an exclusive with Goal.
“It’s more a starting point, but you have to be flexible enough to react to situations in the game.”
So how can Salah elevate Liverpool’s already dazzling attack?
AS THE RIGHT FORWARD
While Mane picked up the Player of the Season accolade during his debut season on Merseyside by dissecting the opposition from the right wing, he could switch to the left to aid the club’s inside creation.
The Senegal international is well versed in that position, having thrived there for Red Bull Salzburg.
It was those performances that prompted Klopp to try and sign the speedster for Borussia Dortmund, but a fee could not be reached with the Austrian club.
Given Liverpool’s penchant for narrow play from the forwards, it would make sense for the left-footed Salah to function on the right with Mane on the other side of Firmino to engage in damaging diagonal runs.
AS THE LEFT FORWARD
As already stated, the ability of the trio to interchange would allow the Egyptian and his Senegalese colleague to switch and provide problems for their markers on the outside as well.
This would grant Liverpool more variety and add unpredictability to their attacks, while both players are also diligent in their duties out of possession.
They would help ease the offensive and defensive burden on the full-backs.
THROUGH THE MIDDLE
Salah has functioned as the centre-forward and just behind the striker for Roma, and unsurprisingly, affected the scoreboard in those roles.
Again, having another player in the front three who can effectively adapt and dovetail with those alongside him feeds into the fluency Klopp has preached about.
Ultimately, Liverpool are recruiting a player who, aside from his stellar goal and assist totals during his time in Serie A, will enable them to transition quicker and amplify the dominant approach they subscribe to.
The greater question, perhaps, is not how the Reds will line-up with Salah, but how they’ll go about planning for the potential absence of both him and Mane during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.