At 25, Mohamed Salah is entering the peak of his career and there’s no better time to snap him up.
The Egyptian is expected to sign with Liverpool this summer for a fee in the region of 35 million but if he truly has matured into an efficient attacker like he’s show in his latest season at AS Roma, it could prove to be a bargain.
Salah possesses blistering pace and has added several goals and assists to his game of the last couple of seasons.
He’s emerged as Roma’s chief threat despite the goal-scoring exploits of Edin Dzeko and is now primed to take the next step in his career.
While his stint in the Premier League with Chelsea under Jose Mourinho may have come a bit too early, he’s now more equipped to deal with the demands of the league and could follow Kevin De Bruyne’s foot steps if he proves himself in his second coming.
Here, we look at seven key stats that you should be aware of ahead of his arrival.
He’s created 134 chances in Serie A since joining AS Roma in 2015, more than any other player at the club. He also secured the most chances in the past season alone, registering 71 in the 2016-17 league campaign.
He finished last season with the most assists in the league (11) while coming in second in terms of key passes per game (2.3).
Salah is know for his quick feet and burst of pace but it may surprise a few to learn that he is far from the top dribblers in Serie A. In fact, he’s ranked 52nd in that regard with only 1.2 dribbles per game while front-runner Felipe Anderson boasts an average of 3.3 per outing!
However, it’s worth noting that Salah also managed similar figures previously but since curbing his natural instinct to take on all comers, he’s grown into a far more efficient player.
He averaged 2.4 dribbles per game in Serie A in the 2014-15 season while on loan to Fiorentina from Chelsea, scoring six goals and providing three assists. The following season that figure dipped further to 1.6 dribbles per game with AS Roma but he registered 14 goals and six assists. In his most recent campaign, he managed the fewest dribbles but scored 15 goals and set up 11 more.
It’s no secret that Salah is quick across the grass but his speed was put into perspective a beIN SPORTS analysis. They deduced that the Egyptian covered 70 metres in a mere seven seconds and therefore claim that he could finish a 100 metre dash in under 10 seconds.
That would put him among the top sprinters in the world. He is said to have reached a top speed of 35.4 km/h despite running across humid grass which is supposed to offer more resistance.
Sadio Mane is the kind of explosive force that has epitomised Jurgen Klopp’s philosophy of swift attacking bursts and Salah’s inclusion would only compliment the Senegalese’s efforts on the opposite flank. While the 25-year-old isn’t going to beat player after player with similar frequency anymore, he does offer a threat in behind the defence and will be another supply line for Mane.
What his arrival would also do is take a whole lot of pressure off Liverpool’s ‘Mane Man’. While playing four league games more than Mane last season, Salah managed six more assists, two more goals and created 28 more chances than his counterpart.
Roma won every single Serie A game in which Salah scored last season, 11 out of 11. In fact, during his two-year spell with the Italian side, they’ve only ever lost once in the league when they’ve found the back of the net and drawn on another occasion.
The summer transfer window hasn’t even officially opened yet but that didn’t stop Cristiano Ronaldo from dropping a bombshell and wreaking chaos in the market by angling for a move away from Real Madrid.
After a hugely successful season with the Spanish giants in which he won La Liga and the Champions League, the Portuguese has asked his agent Jorge Mendes to facilitate a move amidst allegations of tax evasion.
Ronaldo left Manchester United for the Bernabeu eight years ago and the Premier League outfit are now tipped as his most likely destination along with Ligue 1 powerhouse Paris Saint-Germain.
However, former Chelsea and Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Michael Ballack cannot see the 32-year-old leave Madrid this summer.
The German seems to think that Real remain the ideal team for him and expects him to stay put.
Watch the full video of the former Germany international below.
Manchester United have joined Barcelona in the race to sign Benfica defender Nelson Semedo.
The Portuguese club have reportedly slapped a £48 million price tag on the 23-year-old, which has apparently seen Barcelona hesitate, but United are said to have lodged an offer of £30 million, according to Mundo Deportivo.
Why is the defender rated so highly and what has attracted interest from two of the biggest clubs in Europe?
Semedo plies his trade at right-back, but has also featured at left-back and right midfield in the past.
One of the main features of Semedo’s style of play is his ability and inclination to dribble past players. He was the tenth-best dribbler in the Portuguese league last season, completing an average of 1.6 dribbles per game, a fine feat for a defender.
The youngster has pace to burn and enjoys venturing forward. He regularly gets himself involved in the final third, capable of playing a good short-passing game but also accomplished with his crossing. He registered six assists in the league last season.
He boasts a great work-rate and is disciplined in tracking back while also being strong in a tackle. He averaged three tackles per game last term.
Where he can fall short though – excuse the pun – is in his aerial duels, winning just 0.7 per game on average. At 5ft 8in and weighing approximately 67kgs, he’s hardly an imposing figure and could be a cause for concern, particularly if he ends up in the Premier League.
Semedo only broke into the Benfica first team in the 2015-16 season before becoming a permanent fixture in the last year. He began his career at Sintrense before joining the Portuguese giants in 2012. He spent a season on loan to Fatima before featuring prominently for the club’s reserve side.
He made his international bow in a Euro 2016 qualifier against Serbia. He wasn’t part of the squad that won the tournament but has since made three further appearances.
Antonio Valencia’s strength, commitment and work-rate has made him a relatively solid option at right-back but there have always been chinks in his armour in terms of his reading of danger and positioning.
United have already signed one defender from Benfica this summer in Victor Lindelof and while the Swede is quite capable to fill in at right-back, his natural position remains in central defence and Jose Mourinho will be keen to secure a more long-term replacement for Valencia.
Semedo may have to share playing time with the Ecuadorian initially but would be expected to eventually cement his place in the side.
At Barcelona, the right-back slot is there for the taking. Sergio Roberto currently occupies the role but he has always been a midfielder capable of doing a job at full-back. With Andres Iniesta’s future in doubt, Roberto may finally get more opportunities higher up the pitch next season.
Meanwhile, Aleix Vidal has been less than convincing for the Catalans. He clearly hasn’t earned the confidence of the coaching staff, making just 12 appearances in the past season, although he was ruled out through injury from mid February onwards.
Barcelona would like Semedo to come in and make the position his own. However, they are reportedly also chasing Arsenal right-back and La Masia graduate, Hector Bellerin.
The Portuguese is at his best when striding forward on the right flank and getting crosses in. His pace and dribbling makes him difficult to deal with and has an uncanny knack of picking the right moments to burst forward.
His tackling is also one of his best attributes but he suffers in the air due to his slight frame and his inexperience can be exposed in certain defensive scenarios, getting drawn into a tackle too early.