Mohamed Salah backed to succeed at Liverpool and learn from short Chelsea stint, says former Kop star Patrik Berger

Simon Collings 18:58 28/06/2017
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Salah has penned a long-term deal with the Merseysiders (Liverpool FC).

    As a man who played nearly 200 times out wide for Liverpool, Patrik Berger knows a thing or two about what it takes to thrive as a winger at Anfield.

    During his seven years on Merseyside the Czech star became a cult hero thanks to his long flowing hair and ability to hammer the ball home from outside the box.

    Liverpool fans took an instant shine to him and as he discusses the recent arrival of Mohamed Salah from Roma for around £35m, he predicts a similarly bright future for the latest winger to walk through the doors at Anfield.

    “I do expect him to do well at Liverpool,” Berger, who was speaking at the Icons of Football golf event at The Belfry, said.

    “He is a good player technically and he is very fast. He can score goals, create goals, which he proved last year in Italy.”

    • Who is in our best Arab XI? Salah takes one spot on the wing

    • Five key stats about the former Roma man as he pens Reds deal

    Those of a Premier League persuasion may find Berger’s praise and optimism odd given Salah’s previous time in England.

    The Egyptian endured a miserable spell at Chelsea, making just 19 appearances, and he was twice loaned out to Italy during his two and a half years at Stamford Bridge.

    But, after a magical campaign at Roma last season, Salah is returning to the Premier League a different animal to the one who first arrived in January of 2014.

    Indeed, the 25-year-old was one of only eight players in Europe last season to register double figures for both goals and assists and he was a constant thorn in opposition defences due to his blistering pace.

    For Berger, the Salah he sees before him now is in stark contrast to the youngster who first burst onto the scene with El Mokawloon in Egypt.

    “He has already been in the Premier League so he knows what to expect,” Berger, who retired from football in 2010, said.

    “I think he is a better player than when he was in the Premier League a couple of years ago. It is a great addition to the squad.”

    Berger spent seven years at Anfield.

    While the 43-year-old former Kop star is pleased with Salah’s arrival, he feels Liverpool’s summer spending cannot end there.

    Jurgen Klopp’s side finished 17 points off Premier League champions Chelsea last season and he feels further reinforcements need to be made if they wish to become title contenders.

    He said: “I think they are very close. I like him (Klopp), I like the way he is with the fans and with the players. You can see through social media that they enjoy the training sessions.

    “They are training with a smile on their faces. So you can see that everyone is happy and that they enjoy football.

    “Last year around Christmas everyone was talking about how they were good enough to win the league – then they had a bad spell and in the end they were fighting for the Champions League.

    “If they can get a few more signings this summer, and I am sure Jurgen has players on his list he is looking to get in the Liverpool squad, then they can definitely challenge for the Premier League title.”


    A post shared by Mohamed Salah (@mosalah22) on

    If the need for further signings cannot be denied, then the question is exactly where does Klopp need to strengthen?

    Liverpool’s well reported pursuit of Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk would suggest the middle of the defence is a priority, while their interest in RB Leipzig central midfielder Naby Keita suggests that is an area on the German’s radar too.

    For Berger, both those positions should be a primary concern and if one or two more can follow them then a title-winning side could be in the making.

    He added: “I think if they can get one more player in the middle of the field and one more player, probably a central defender, then I think Klopp will be okay because the squad has been alright last year.

    “But I think it was not as strong as they needed [last season], so I think if they can get another two, three or four players for the next season it would be good enough.”