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Mo Salah eyeing PL landmark for Liverpool against team where it all began

The Liverpool superstar is on the verge of reaching an important milestone in his career after scoring his 98th Premier League goal at the start of the season

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Record-breaking Salah leaves Liverpool boss Klopp in stitches

Jose Mourinho once described him as “a lost kid in London”. But after four glorious years in Liverpool, Mohamed Salah has found his home and is set to eternalise his name in Premier League history.

It is almost unfathomable to believe that there was a time where Salah could have been regarded as a flop in the Premier League.

The 29-year-old is on the verge of reaching an important milestone in his career after scoring his 98th Premier League goal at the start of the season.

Goal No.99 was ruled out against Burnley by VAR following a tight offside call, but it would take a brave person to bet against him reaching the century in the next few games.



Mohamed Salah sees his goal against Burnley ruled out for offside as he nears the 100-goal mark
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And how he would love to mark his achievement against his former club Chelsea on Saturday, where his promising career nearly ended up in disarray.

The Egyptian forward had already been discussed as a potential danger to the Blues ahead of their Champions League group stage meeting in September 2013.

FC Basel were a talented side across the board and it was Mourinho’s first game in the competition as Chelsea boss since returning for a second stint in charge. It looked as if they would be heading for victory when Oscar put them ahead.









But Salah had other ideas.

Having already netted twice in the Europa League knockout clash between the two sides the season prior, he was eager to impress again.

Just like he so often does for Liverpool, the youngster was hanging off the right flank when Marco Streller fed him the ball and he coolly placed his left-footed effort into the far corner.



Mohamed Salah caught the eye after scoring for FC Basel against Chelsea




In the return leg at St Jakob’s Park, he put in an incredible all-around performance and capped that display with a well-taken goal to ensure Basel did the double over the Blues.

It was then, in December 2013, when Mourinho knew he had to sign the forward. In football, if you can’t beat them, sign them.

“Salah was a kid at Basel. When I play against a certain team I analyse a team and players for quite a long time,” Mourinho told beIN Sports.









“And I fell in love with that kid. I bought the kid.”

Salah arrived at Chelsea for £11m in January 2014, beating Liverpool to the winger’s signature. Who knows what would have happened to his career trajectory if he chose Anfield seven years ago.

Things did not go to plan for Salah. While he was quick and agile, he looked feeble against the brutally strong Premier League defenders.



Mohamed Salah made only 18 appearances for Chelsea after joining for £11m




In his 13 appearances for the club in the Premier League, Salah scored twice. He started only six Premier League games for Chelsea under Mourinho and featured for only 531 minutes in the blue shirt.

“People try to identify me as the coach that sold Salah. I am the coach that bought Salah. It’s completely the wrong idea,” Mourinho told beIN Sports.









“I pushed the club to buy him and at the time we already had fantastic attacking players—Hazard, Willian, we had top talent there.

“But I told them to buy that kid.”

“He was just a lost kid in London. He was a lost kid in a new world,” he added.

“We wanted to work him, to become better and better and better. But he was more of the idea of wanting to play and not wait.



Mohamed Salah and Jose Mourinho only worked together briefly




“So we decided to put him on loan, in a culture I knew well. Italy. Tactical football. Physical football. A good place to play.”

Salah spent time on loan with Fiorentina and Roma in Serie A in 2015-16, signing for the latter permanently for £15m in 2016 after impressing with the Viola.

Only a year later, he sealed a club-record transfer to Liverpool off the back of a season where hit 19 goals in all competitions. A decent return, but nothing to get massively excited about.







No one could have predicted he would have such an impact in his debut campaign — apart from recruitment chief Michael Edwards and Jurgen Klopp, who knew he was a snip at £38m.

Klopp’s 4-3-3 system was similar to how Salah had worked under Roma coach Luciano Spalletti and he looked comfortable slotting in from the off, scoring on his debut in a 3-3 draw with Watford.

That was merely a sign of things to come, with Salah quickly endearing himself to the Liverpool fans. “Mo Salah! Mo Salah! Running down the wing, Salah-lalalalala… Egyptian King!” would ring out on a weekly basis at Anfield.



Mohamed Salah instantly became a hit with the Liverpool fans
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In that 2017-18 campaign, he would go on to break the record for most goals scored in a 38-game Premier League season with 32 — a truly phenomenal record.

Better than Alan Shearer, better than Cristiano Ronaldo and his Golden Boot rival Harry Kane. And some of these goals were right of the top draw, rather than mere tap-ins or penalties like some had claimed.

Klopp and his Liverpool side have reaped the rewards from Salah’s ill-fated spell at Stamford Bridge. It seemed to spur him on more than anything, with 96 goals coming in his 147 appearances.







Now Salah is set to join the exclusive club of players with 100 goals or over — it is simply a matter of time — and reaching that milestone with a double against the club who gave up on him would be cathartic.

The statistics from his previous clashes suggest it could happen too. He has netted twice against the west London side since joining Liverpool and both of those goals have come at Anfield, the venue for Sunday’s clash.

Salah has already broken one record, becoming the fastest player to reach 50 Premier League. He cannot do the same with the 100-club, as Kane needed only 141 games to achieve the feat.



Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah is closing in on his 100th Premier League goal




But it will be a case of moving onto the next objective when he inevitably gets past the century mark, with Robbie Fowler’s tally of 128 Premier League goals in his sights.

Salah has already secured his status as one of England’s finest imports and a hero in the eyes of Liverpool fans.

But after his early disappointment with Chelsea, few could blame him for taking the opportunity to prove just how wrong his former club were to let him slip from their grasp.




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