Mohamed Salah’s sensational form has perhaps hidden Liverpool’s strength in depth – with Salah and Sadio Mane set to jet off in the New Year to the Africa Cup of Nations
Salah, as he so often is, was the man to inspire the Reds back into the game after firing them back onto level terms against AC Milan.
The Egyptian has been, by some distance, Liverpool’s best player since he arrived at Anfield back in 2017. The standards that he’s hit, consistently, have been unmatched in the Premier League.
But he’s somehow managed to out-perform even his own high standards by taking his game to another level this year.
Salah is a generational talent, and has already ensured that he’ll go down in Anfield folklore – but his incredulous exploits have perhaps hidden an unspoken strength for Jurgen Klopp‘s side.
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Both Salah and Sadio Mane are set to jet off for the Africa Cup of Nations in the New Year; leaving the Reds to negotiate up to seven Premier League games without their talismanic duo.
But even though Salah has been the headline act once again for Liverpool this year, the Reds’ supporting cast have more than proven their goal-scoring credentials – even if they have been overshadowed by the statistical anomaly that is Salah.
Liverpool now have five players who have netted five or more goals this season after Divock Origi‘s winner at the San Siro.
Salah has 20, Mane and Diogo Jota have nine goals apiece with Roberto Firmino netting six times and Origi nodding home his fifth goal of the season to follow up on his late, late winner against Wolves last weekend.
Much has been made of how badly the absence of Salah and Mane will hamper Liverpool’s title aspirations. And to a degree, of course, that’s true. Any side in the world would struggle without their two best players.
But the likes of Jota, Firmino and Origi have already shown this term that they can step up to the plate in their absence to keep Klopp’s side on track for a second Premier League crown in three years.
Even taking away Salah’s remarkable tally, would any Premier League side, or any European side for that matter, really turn their noses up at the returns of the remaining quartet?
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Of course, Klopp’s preference would be to have Salah and Mane available. But the strength in depth that Liverpool actually have should be the envy of the Reds’ title rivals.
Are Liverpool really any worse off upfront than their two title rivals with the likes of Jota, Origi and Firmino leading the line for a month?
Whilst a foray into the transfer market in the New Year hasn’t been ruled out, it’s hard to see what Klopp could actually do in terms of bolstering that frontline in the long run.
Is anyone, realistically going to come in and play second-fiddle to Salah? Not likely. It’s hard to see anyone muscling out Mane, either – although the same was said for Firmino, who you could argue has now slipped behind Jota in the Reds pecking order.
But that’s not a problem.
The form of Liverpool’s supporting cast have already proven that they have the credentials to star for Klopp when he loses his main men in January.
It’s just that it’s easy to overlook that when Salah is in a world of his own.