This Theory Says Mohamed Salah Has Played His Last Game For Liverpool
There’s been an ill-wind blowing though Liverpool in recent months regarding the future of Mohamed Salah, and to the typical ‘huge-bid-imminent’ stories, you can now add that the Egyptian forward could miss half of next season while away on International duty... presuming next season is ever actually a thing, of course.
As Covid-19 continues to lay waste to the sporting calendar, the problem is this: Salah was already due to miss months to play at the Africa cup of Nations for Egypt. The kicker being that the tournament was actually set to play out in June, but concern over the climate in Cameroon resulted in the whole thing being brought forward to January.
The additional worry for Liverpool, now, is the Olympics. Postponed, potentially until spring 2021, there’s a very real chance it could actually begin in April – a time when the football season hits the business end of things. While Salah wouldn’t be obliged to play, it’s understood the Egyptian hierarchy would love their star player to represent the nation in Tokyo.
While the club is taking things in its stride right now, they have the slight issue of being deprived a first league title in 30 years if the entire season is scrapped, it’s another problem to toss on the pile for later, and is surely set to have ruffled a few feathers at Anfield.
“It’s fair to say that Jurgen Klopp will not take to kindly to the thought of this,” says Dubai-based sports journalist and Liverpool supporter, Ali Khaled. “Especially as Sadio Mane, Joel Matip and Naby Keita could all be missing in January as well. But it’s almost impossible to say whether the Africa Cup Cup of Nations will go ahead as scheduled, or even at all, at this point. There are so many unknown factors as things stand."
Of course, the football rumor mill had been in overdrive for months where Salah was concerned anyway, the logical conclusion being that, should the Merseyside team win the title, the Egyptian king would instantly pack his bags for a new challenge. Undoubtedly, the fabled mega-big from Real or Barcelona was around the corner, and even the former Manchester United full-back and revered light of neutrality, Gary Neville, agreed.
“I think there’s a feeling that he wants to go and play at Real Madrid, he’ll go to Barcelona – he’ll take the big move,” said Neville recently in a statement on Sky Sports that was, in no way, geared to winding up Liverpool fans.
For Khaled, talk of Salah leaving is not only way too soon to judge, but also in bad taste for a player that has never gone public in a desire to do anything other than succeed at Liverpool.
"Talk of Liverpool potentially cashing in on Salah ahead of the tournaments is not only premature but massively disrespectful to the player himself,” says Khaled. “In truth, very few players in world football can match the form he has shown since joining Liverpool in 2017. Criticism that he has been inconsistent, lazily focuses only on his goal output and ignores the reality of his numbers and contributions to other players. In that sense, his once-in-a-lifetime first season at Liverpool has done him a disservice. Liverpool would find it close to impossible to find an adequate replacement."
But as the Premier League champions in waiting digest losing their talismanic striker for half the season, there’s another, even graver option that could yet play out. Let’s do some Mo Salah maths for a moment. Now this is a worst-case scenario spot of addition, but hear us out. If, indeed, Salah is set to miss half the season and a huge bid duly comes in from a European superpower, does Klopp cut his losses and sell the 27-year-old striker in the summer? Worse than that, if this season were to be scrapped, and time given for Covid-19 to be fully managed around the world, could he have already played his last game for Liverpool?
Just a thought.