Liverpool, led by Mo Salah, just completed their best week of the season with convincing Premier League wins over Tottenham and Crystal Palace.
In a top-of-the-table clash, Roberto Firmino scored a 90th minute winner against Spurs to claim sole grasp of first place in the league. The Reds followed with a 7-0 demolition of Crystal Palace, the club’s largest ever Premier League victory away from home.
Individually, Salah was brilliant in both games. The winger scored the opener in the match against Tottenham and continually created scoring chances. Despite coming on as a substitute, Salah bagged two goals and an assist in a brief cameo against Crystal Palace.
The only negative from this week for Liverpool fans are the various rumours linking Salah with a move away from Merseyside.
A recent interview with AS kickstarted the discussions. The Egyptian winger responded to the possibility of a move to La Liga giants Real Madrid or Barcelona by saying, “We never know what is going to happen in the future”.
Later in the interview, Salah was asked about his thoughts on Trent Alexander-Arnold being chosen as captain over him in a Champions League match against FC Midtjylland. His response indicated possible frustration with Jurgen Klopp’s decision with the former Chelsea man claiming that he was “very disappointed” and “was expecting to be the captain”.
Recent comments by Egyptian legend and Salah’s former international teammate Mohamed Aboutrika further stimulated the rumour mill.
An analyst for beIN Sports, Aboutrika acknowledged Salah’s lack of happiness at Liverpool but refused to disclose the reason for his close friend’s unhappiness.
So should Liverpool fans worry about the long-term fate of their Egyptian king?
Why links to Real Madrid and Barcelona shouldn’t worry Liverpool fans
Salah has now scored 110 goals in 176 appearances for Liverpool. Pretty much since that first goal against Watford, the world’s top clubs have expressed interest in the Egyptian.
And why wouldn’t they? Salah has established himself as one of the world’s finest footballers.
Furthermore, Real Madrid and Barcelona are linked with literally every top player in the world (including compatriot Sadio Mane). Some rumours have merit, but the majority are just talk.
Regarding Salah’s potential interest in a move to La Liga, his responses shouldn’t worry Liverpool fans too much.
In Africa and South America, Real Madrid and Barcelona stand atop the football hierarchy, making broad interest fairly predictable. That explains why very few top Brazilian or Argentinian players have plied their trade in England, for instance.
Time and time again, Salah has denied any concrete interest in these clubs. Even this time, he acknowledged that “everything is in the club’s hands”. If Salah were really trying to push for a transfer, he’d likely demonstrate more urgency.
Finally, from a practical standpoint, a move to either club makes little sense at the moment. Barcelona can barely make ends meet financially, so a nine-figure move for Salah seems off the books. Real Madrid seem to have their sights set on Kylian Mbappe, Erling Haaland, and Eduardo Camavinga ahead of Salah.
And none of this takes into account the fact that Salah is one of the first names on the teamsheet for a Liverpool side that is far superior to Real Madrid or Barcelona right now.
Why Mohamed Aboutrika’s comments shouldn’t be taken out of context
As an Egyptian myself, I know how highly regarded Aboutrika is in the country. If there is one man that rivals Salah’s fame as a footballer in the nation, it’s him.
After listening to the interview in Arabic, I think some things should be clarified.
The English translation of Aboutrika’s interview, I believe, comes off more harshly than the actual transcript.
From the interview, I interpreted that a large reason for Salah’s unhappiness stemmed from not being selected as captain against FC Midtjylland. More than likely, Salah will overcome this grief and will probably captain the side in the future.
Furthermore, Aboutrika goes on to repeatedly express opinions on Salah’s situation rather than actual details from his conversations with Salah. In my view, it seemed that Aboutrika was drawing a lot of conclusions based on his talks with the Liverpool forward.
Additionally, despite touching on Salah’s discontent, Aboutrika mentions a lot of positives about Salah’s tenure in Merseyside. He discusses Salah’s constant effort and pursuit of titles, along with past successes at the club.
Again, it’s not rare to see supposed friends of top players claim that they are looking for new clubs. How many times have we heard agents and colleagues of Neymar and Paul Pogba speak about their unhappiness? Yet, time and time again, these players have stayed.
Although recent media outings will worry some Liverpool fans, the chances of Salah leaving this summer are low.
The forward is currently in the form of his life, playing in one of the best teams in the world with perhaps the best coach, and reportedly set to be offered a pay raise, according to our colleagues at Anfield Central.
Furthermore, the list of suitors just doesn’t inspire hope of a transfer. Real Madrid and Barcelona’s situations have already been discussed, and there really haven’t been any rumours of Salah going elsewhere.
Could the situation between now and the summer change? Perhaps so. For now, Reds fans needn’t lose sleep over the situation.