There are strong arguments both for and against Liverpool extending Mohamed Salah’s contract
Mohamed Salah is currently the most important player at Liverpool as the club looks to win the treble this year. The Egyptian has proven his quality time and again and has given enough reason to make a case for being regarded as their main player.
But the winger’s contract is set to come to an end next year and contract talks have reportedly stalled between the two parties.
On the face of it, the pros of renewing the African star’s contract outweigh the cons of the same. But a fair argument can be made for both cases. However, this will boil down to several factors, with time playing a key role.
Although losing him on a free transfer next summer might not be Liverpool’s best-case scenario, it might not be the worst either. Still, the club will want a resolution this summer itself, especially since their attacking plans for the future depend on this decision.
Let’s first look at the case for extending Salah’s contract. Here are three reasons why Liverpool should take that decision.
#1 Guarantees more than 15 league goals per season
Mohamed Salah has been very consistent with his goal-scoring over the last few seasons
Liverpool have had a history of great goal-scorers like Michael Owen, Robbie Fowler, Fernando Torres, and Luis Suarez. But few have produced the consistency that Salah has displayed over the last 5 years.
Although the Egyptian has not scored in his last three Premier League games, he does have 20 goals and 11 assists in the league this season. In fact, he has scored more than 15 league goals in each of his five campaigns. To put things into perspective, no other Premier League player has managed the same.
Thus, losing a player who can provide goals on a regular basis can be near catastrophic for Liverpool. Hence, it is imperative that they renew his contract as soon as possible.
#2 Mohamed Salah’s incredible fitness record
Mohamed Salah has managed to maintain a high level of fitness
Salah may be turning 30 this year but his fitness remains intact, a characteristic integral to Liverpool handing him a new deal.
Over the last five league campaigns, Salah has made 174 appearances out of a possible 183, which is a near miraculous feat. He has also been a key part of their cup competitions, regardless of the size of the tournament.
A lot of this is down to the winger’s fitness regime and his stamina levels. Given Klopp’s reluctance to tinker with his starting line-up, the right-winger is a blessing for his side.
The Egyptian ace will back himself to maintain these fitness levels into his early 30s, thereby warranting a new deal.
#3 Mohamed Salah is a big-game player
Mohamed Salah has shown a tendency to come up with good performances in big games
One of the key reasons for Liverpool’s success under Jurgen Klopp has been their performances in the big games. Their results against the Premier League top six, coupled with the other dominant clubs in Europe, have led to them winning multiple trophies.
But these results have been possible due to Salah’s goal-scoring record against them. The 29-year-old ace has had 35 goal contributions in 47 Premier League games against the top six over the last five campaigns. At the same time, he has also scored in the club’s 2019 Champions League final against Tottenham Hotspur.
Hence, the winger always shows up during the big games and acts as the difference maker for Liverpool. If they are to renew his contract, this will be a massive factor which shall be taken into account.
Now that we have seen the reasons for Liverpool renewing his contract, let’s look at the flip side. Here are two reasons why Salah should not be handed a new contract by Liverpool.
1) Massive contract could disrupt wage structure and cause potential unrest in squad
If Liverpool decide to renew Mohamed Salah’s contract, it could lead to problems regarding their budget
Salah is a worthy player to retain but the Reds shall have to fork the cash out if they are to renew his current deal. FSG are apparently ready to stump up a £300k-per-week or higher contract for him. But they are reportedly unlikely to match the £400k-per-week agreement the player’s representatives are angling for.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Kevin de Bruyne, and a couple of others reportedly earn more than £400k-per-week. So, the Egyptian is not asking for anything out of the ordinary.
But handing the winger such a massive deal could disrupt the wage structure at Anfield and lead to other stars asking for a bump in their paychecks.
A stabilized wage structure has been the key to the club’s success under FSG and breaking it for any player would not set the right precedent.
#2 Could help sign younger talents with an eye on the future
Mohamed Salah against Inter Milan in the Champions League
While there has been no indication that the 2019 UCL winners wish to offload Salah, it is a real possibility. If the Egyptian international decides not to sign a new deal this summer, the Reds could sell him for a profit instead of losing him on a free at the end of his contract.
They could then use that money to sign budding talents, something their scouting system has done well over the years. The addition of Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota, coupled with the promotion of Harvey Elliot and Curtis Jones, has been an example of the same.
Given the 29-year-old’s rising stock in European football, many clubs will want to sign him in the summer and the Anfield outfit could sell him for big bucks.
Their re-investment process has always been sound, courtesy of which they can sign and hone talent which can perhaps replicate Mohamed Salah’s output in the coming years.