Mohamed Salah will be returning to the club where he turned from Chelsea flop to potential superstar after Liverpool were drawn against AS Roma in the Champions League semi-finals on Friday.
Jose Mourinho turfed the Egyptian out of Chelsea on loan to Fiorentina then Roma, where he spent the entire 2015/16 season.
After scoring 15 goals in all competitions the Giallorossi needed no further evidence that Salah was underappreciated by his London-based employers – and snapped him up for just £13.5 milliom.
Liverpool came calling a year later after he added another 19 goals to his Roma account and while the Italians made profit, the £40m they accepted for Salah’s services looks like chump change now.
Club legend Francesco Totti, now a director at Roma, recently stated that Salah has still not reached his peak in a Liverpool shirt – despite a debut season at Anfield that has seen him find the back of the net 39 times so far.
“The level he is playing at at the moment, he is one of the best players in the world — and I think he can and will get even better,” said Totti.
“I know him well, he is a good friend and wants to keep improving, to keep getting better as a player.
“He does all the right things, he trains hard, he works hard, he listens to the coaches – that’s why, as good as he is playing at the moment, I think maybe there is even one more level in him.”
Liverpool’s man of the moment Mohamed Salah has revealed the atmosphere he witnessed at Anfield during the Champions League clash against Manchester City was something he had never experienced before.
Salah can barely put a foot wrong these days. It has been a record-setting season for the Egyptian star and he capped it by booking Liverpool’s place in the Champions League last four for the first time in a decade with his 39th goal of the season, against Manchester City in the second leg on Tuesday.
Ahead of the draw to decide the Champions League semi-final line-up – which will be held on Friday afternoon – Salah said it has been a special few weeks for him.
“The atmosphere in that first game against Man City was the first time I had really seen something like that,” Salah told CNN‘s Becky Anderson.
“The Champions League nights are special for the fans too. You can feel it on the streets. There’s something very special about playing for Liverpool.”
Salah scored the opening goals in both legs of the quarter-final for Liverpool against City as the Reds advanced 5-1 on aggregate. However, coming into the clash, Salah knew his team needed to come up with a special effort against a team that was in red-hot form in the Premier League.
“When we saw the draw, everyone knew it would be a difficult game,” Salah said. “I knew it would be difficult but I said we had to be positive and win. That’s what we did.”
Kane enhanced his chances of winning the prize for the third season running when he was awarded Tottenham’s second goal in their 2-1 win at Stoke last Saturday after it was originally given to Christian Eriksen.
The England striker was adamant he had to get the credit for the strike and managed to get the Premier League’s goal accreditation appeals panel to award it in his favour.
It took his tally to 25 goals for the season, four behind Liverpool’s Salah who, along with a number of other players, immediately appeared to question the decision on Twitter.
Former Liverpool striker John Aldridge said the decision should inspire the Egyptian to go on and win the prize, but Pochettino was having none of it.
“I don’t believe. I don’t believe,” he said. “I don’t believe Salah needs this situation to be inspired… come on, you make me laugh.
“I respect their opinions. I respect all of their opinions. I respect the people that disagree with Harry, who do not agree with Harry, with the people who were surprised about him claiming it was his goal or not.
“Today everyone can talk, and everyone can give his opinion. We are more than happy to live in a society in most of the world that we feel freedom to talk, to say, to write, to do what we want. Why?
“We need to accept that people have different opinions. I’m sure Harry has accepted that different people have different visions about his actions.”
I now wonder if my CAREER goals could be 500!!instead of 474😂Or could the amount be 450😉😂
It should give Salah and his teammates the motivation to win the GOALDENBOOT👍 pic.twitter.com/jiV1ZPDqUj
— John Aldridge (@Realaldo474) April 12, 2018
Pochettino, who admitted it was not his decision to lodge the appeal, has insisted throughout the whole process that it was “not a big issue”.
And he also says Kane never thought he would be open to such ridicule when trying to get the goal.
“Of course he never thought that this situation was going to go on to such big things when he was so, so, so, so certain that he touched the ball,” the Argentinian added.
“It’s normal that he was a little bit disappointed because of course Harry Kane and all of our players have Twitter, Instagram, everything. Tottenham fans will back Harry Kane but other fans will kill him.
“(He is) disappointed because he never wanted to create this. For you, sometimes, it is a small or simple thing and they become bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger and you cannot stop it.
“That was what happened. He is going to learn a lot from this.”
Tottenham are on a 14-match unbeaten run in the Premier League, stretching back to December when they were beaten by this Saturday’s opponents Manchester City.
Pochettino does not think that beating City this time would prove they can compete for future titles.
He said: “It is not about one result that we are going to show that we are ready or not ready. We have already shown we are ready to compete.
“We need to be consistent during the whole season and be the best team like Manchester City are doing today. We need to show ourselves that we can compete.”
Provided by Press Association Sport