Rewind to July 2022 when news broke that Mohamed Salah had signed a new Liverpool contract. Liverpool supporters rejoiced as Salah dedicated his future to the club until 2025. Simultaneously, Critics of Liverpool bemoaned Salah receiving an £18.2 million a season deal.
Many of those critics lamented Salah signing a new contract with the rest of Great Britain enduring a cost-of-living crisis. The critics ignored Manchester City paying Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne each over £19.5m per season. Manchester United’s David De Gea also got a pass from those critics despite his £19.5m annual salary.
Salah has carried the burden of expectations this season due to his new contract. He has had his struggles this term, just like every Liverpool player. Yet, Salah’s stats in the Premier League show consistency, although the numbers don’t jump out like in previous campaigns. His 16 goals and seven assists do not lead the league but remain on par with previous seasons.
Can Salah achieve another 20-goal season?
The Egyptian’s numbers are also overshadowed by Erling Haaland. The Man City striker’s 32 goals in the Premier League (41% of the team’s scoring) lead the competition. Salah can still end the Premier League campaign with 20 or more goals.
The winger has only failed to score 20 or more goals in one Premier League season for Liverpool. In 2019-20, Liverpool’s title-winning campaign, he bagged 19 goals.
Liverpool have seven more league matches this season. The Reds are battling for qualification to next season’s Champions League and Salah will be vital down the stretch. Liverpool’s attack scored 11 goals in the last three league fixtures, as the offence came to life.
Salah can certainly reach the 20-goal mark once more, but how does he compare with the Premier League’s other top scorers this season?
Haaland has been unreal this season. He is like a goalscoring version of Ivan Drago, the Russian boxer from Rocky 4 (“If he scores, he scores”). Haaland has 32 Premier League goals as Manchester City will likely overhaul Arsenal’s lead at the top of the table to win the title. He has accounted for 41% of Manchester City’s goals this season.
Salah has scored just 27% of Liverpool’s goals. His 16 strikes have been incredibly important, but Liverpool’s scoring in the Premier League has been spread around. Liverpool scored 59 goals in 31 league fixtures, the third most in the competition. Darwin Nunez and Roberto Firmino both have nine goals, and Cody Gakpo has five. Diogo Jota is on four goals after getting four in his last two appearances.
Tottenham’s Harry Kane has 23 league goals. Had it not been for Haaland, everyone would be talking about Kane. The striker may not be at Spurs much longer, with the likes of Manchester United and Bayern Munich needing a new No 9.
Kane has 40% of Tottenham’s scoring. The team has depended heavily on the Englishman to score goals. Unlike Man City and Haaland, Tottenham have a limited number of options for goalscorers other than Kane.
Kane has an xG of 18.0 this season, according to FBREF. He has slightly overachieved finishing chances he shouldn’t have. Haaland has also overachieved by finishing low-quality chances. The Man City player has an xG of 22.4. Salah’s xG is 16.3, which is right on target with his actual goal figure.
Brentford’s Toney has 19 goals this season. The striker has an xG of 18.6 after 30 match appearances in the league. Toney has four assists to go along with his 19 goals and has contributed to 23 Brentford goals.
Like Haaland and Kane, Toney has greatly contributed to Brentford’s overall goal numbers. He has 40% of Brentford’s goals in 2022-23.
Interestingly, six of Toney’s goals came from the penalty spot. Haaland also has six penalty goals. Kane has four penalty goals this season. Salah has not scored from the penalty spot this term.
All 16 goals in the league were from open play. Salah’s most recent penalty against Arsenal was missed wide left. Although there are no easy goals in football, Salah has zero penalty goals to his name. In addition, 15 of Salah’s goals were scored in the 18-yard box.
Arsenal’s Gabriel Martinelli is on the 15-goal mark and has only 19% of Arsenal’s goals. Of the Premier League’s top-seven goalscorers, Martinelli has contributed the lowest percentage of goals for his team.
Martinelli is overachieving his xG of 8.9, according to FBREF. He too has scored zero penalties, while adding five assists. Salah has seven assists this term, and creating goals is a strong part of the Egyptian’s game.
Salah is fourth in the Premier League in Goals+Assists with 23. Only Haaland, Kane, and Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka have a higher Goals+Assists figure.
There have been quite a few comparisons between Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford and Salah this season. Both players are the talisman of their team and are heavily relied upon, so it is natural that the players will be compared. In addition, Liverpool and Man United are long-time rivals and play one of the best derbies (yes, derbies) in world football.
Rashford has 15 goals and four assists in 29 league appearances, along with an xG of 11.8. Rashford has not scored a penalty goal this season, as all 15 scores came from open play. The forward scored 33% of Man United’s goals in the league.
Mohamed Salah: Living up to the money
Salah has had two prolonged goalscoring droughts in the Premier League this season. Both droughts lasted for five matches. From August 27 through September 10, Salah failed to score a goal in five matches but produced three assists.
Liverpool picked up eight points from those 15 matches. His second goalscoring drought started on December 30 and lasted until February 4. Liverpool took only four points from those five matches, as Salah failed to produce an assist.
Salah has been on a tear in the league since Liverpool’s 3-0 loss to Wolverhampton on February 4. Salah contributed nine goals and three assists in his last 11 appearances in the Premier League. Liverpool took 21 points in those 11 matches.
Salah is vital for Liverpool and has been consistent for most of the season. The return to form of Diogo Jota, Cody Gakpo’s bedding into the squad, and Darwin Nunez’s continued development have all helped the Reds return to the hunt for the top four. With eleven goals scored in the last three league matches, Liverpool could still fire themselves into the Champions League for next term despite it being a long shot.
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