Mohamed Salah - Egyptian Messi

My man Mo.

Mohamed Salah celebrates - photo credit to Liverpool echo 

With 28 goals in 30 Premier League games for the Reds, life at Anfield for Mohamed Salah couldn’t have got off to a better start. 

The 25-year-old Egyptian has created mass hysteria on Merseyside since his £36.9 million move from Roma, with his trademark speed and silky finishing, and has already racked up a whole host of impressive personal milestones since signing in June, including two Premier League player of the month awards, in November 2017 and February 2018 respectively. 

With 28 goals in the premier league ALREADY, with seven games left to play and with Salah's only real threat to the accolade, Tottenham’s talisman Kane injured likely until the end of April, you’d safely put your money on Salah to scoop the award. 

Footballing life wasn’t always a breeze for Salah, who grew up in the Gharbia region of Egypt. He struggled academically in school and his parents worried. Salah orginally played football for fun, and after getting an opportunity to sign for local club El -  Mokawloon, he took it more seriously, against the wishes of his parents who wanted him to have a career. With El Mokawoon based in Cairo, Salah's journey to training usually involved taking five busses, which further affected his schoolwork.

In May 2010, at the age of 18, he was finally accepted into the senior team of the club. At first, Salah mostly played as a substitute but eventually, as his game improved, he became a regular forward in the team. Around 2012, the ‘Egyptian Premier League’ faced being shut down and so the fate of many of its players became uncertain.

Basel offered him a contract and in April 2012, Salah signed a four-year contract with the Swiss club. He made his UEFA Champions League and Europa League debuts the same year and scored crucial goals to help his team reach the semi-finals of the latter competition, where they eventually lost on aggregate to Chelsea, the eventual winners of the competition. Despite the disappointment of elimination from Europe, Basel and Salah went on to win the Swiss league as well as finish runner up in the Swiss Cup. 

Salah continued his fine form into the 2014 season, impressing a whole host of bigger clubs, including Chelsea, who he had previously scored against in the group stage of the Champions League. 

On January 23rd, 2014, Chelsea announced that a deal had been agreed with Basel for a fee around £11 million. On the 26th, Chelsea announced they had completed the signing of Salah, which made him the first Egyptian to grace Chelsea’s squad. On February 8th, 2014, Salah made his Chelsea debut in the 3–0 win over Newcastle, as a substitute. On March 22nd, 2014, Salah scored his first goal for Chelsea against Arsenal (of all clubs!) in a game that ended in Chelsea winning 6-0. On April 5th, 2014, Salah scored and made an assist in a 3-0 win against Stoke City... so I guess at least someone can do it on a cold, wet night in Stoke!

Before the 2014 season, his future in London was hanging in the balance after reports suggested he could be forced to return to his homeland in order to carry out mandatory military service. Salah was spared military service after meeting with the then Egyptian Prime Minister. Salah changed to squad number 17 for the new season, as Eden Hazard had changed to number ten, allowing Salah to take number 17.

Salah's star for the season came against Swansea in September, playing the last eight minutes of a 4-2 Chelsea victory. He made his first start of the season at home to Bolton in a Cup victory. 

Salah struggled for game time before his loan move to Fiorentina, but José Mourinho insisted that Salah would receive a winner's medal when Chelsea eventually went on to win the title. 

On transfer deadline day in 2015, Chelsea confirmed that Salah had completed a loan move to Fiorentina until the end of the 2015–16 season, Salah chose the number 74 shirt in honor of the victims of the Port Said Stadium riots back in his homeland. Salah managed to impress during his loan spell in Italy, so much that giants AS Roma made their move, after Salah apparently refused to sign for Fiorentina permanently.  

On August 6, Salah joined Roma on a season-long loan that carried a €5 million loan fee, with the option to make the deal permanent for an extra €15 million reported fee. Salah was named Player of the Season, finishing as the club's top goalscorer with 15 goals in all competitions, 14 in the league alone(!), and six assists. On August 3rd, 2016, Roma (obviously) made the deal permanent. He scored a hat-trick at the Stadio Olimpico as Roma won 3–0 against Bologna. 

In June 2017, Salah agreed a transfer to Liverpool. He signed a long-term contract with the Reds for an initial £36m fee that could potentially rise to up to £45m based on performance related clauses. 

Salah scored on his competitive debut for Liverpool against Watford, and the rest as they say, is history... 

JI

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