After what has been a difficult start to the season for Liverpool in the English Premier League, the pressure is on to find some winning momentum ahead of the World Cup break this winter. Liverpool has one of the best forwards in the world in Mohamed Salah and manager Jürgen Klopp will need his Egyptian star to rise to the challenge if the Reds are to be title contenders this season.
Reds Make Stuttering Start
Liverpool has taken their time to find their rhythm at the start of the new season in the English top flight, with just two wins from their first six games. That form is most unlike a Liverpool side, which remains the biggest streamed team online in the US and boasts a fan base spread out across the world. With the likes of Arsenal, Manchester City, and Tottenham Hotspur hitting the ground running in the Premier League, the Reds already find themselves playing catch-up with the frontrunners.
Draws with both Fulham and Crystal Palace raised eyebrows across the English game before the Reds suffered a 2-1 defeat at the home of arch-rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford. Three Premier League games without a win and some were questioning if Liverpool’s efforts from the 2021-22 season were catching up with them. Challenging for four major trophies and winning two of them, Liverpool had to play 63 games last term. That amount of games would take it out most teams but especially a side that plays with the intensity as the Merseyside outfit does under manager Klopp.
A 9-0 hammering of newly-promoted Bournemouth, before scraping past Newcastle United saw the Reds get back to their more familiar winning ways. However, a goalless stalemate at an Everton side struggling at the wrong end of the table was another setback before September’s international break. In those first six games, Salah managed to find the back of the net twice.
A player who many would have considered to be a challenger for the league’s top goalscorer found himself nine goals behind the frontrunner Erling Haaland of Manchester City before the international break. Salah has been a key figure for Liverpool since his arrival in 2017 and the Reds could do with the 30-year-old finding his shooting boots soon.
Mane Departure Being Felt
One key difference to the Liverpool side from this season to last was the sale of Salah’s fellow forward Sadio Mane to Bayern Munich over the summer. The Senegalese star was another key figure in the Reds’ attack, not only with his scoring ability but also with his assists. Salah, who signed a new Liverpool contract over the summer, more than most benefited from playing alongside Mane, and now he’s plying his trade in Germany, it seems to have affected the Egyptian international’s numbers.
Liverpool did bring in reinforcements over the summer, with Darwin Núñez making the high-profile switch from Benfica. Núñez has had an eventful start to life in England with the Uruguayan being shown a red card in just his second Premier League game in the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace. One goal from his first three league outings has not been the return Liverpool would have been hoping for but the 23-year-old does have the potential to be a quality addition to the Reds’ squad. Whether Núñez can fill the huge void left by Mane over the coming seasons remains to be seen.
Klopp Can Bring Best Out Of Salah
While there is pressure on the manager himself to turn things around at Anfield, Klopp has proven time and again that he can bring the best out of his players. Salah had a previous spell in the Premier League before his move to Liverpool where he struggled to break through at Chelsea. Loan spells at Fiorentina and Roma, before a permanent move to the Italian capital, saw Salah flourish in Serie A.
The forward’s efforts in the Italian top flight did not go unnoticed and Liverpool gave Salah another opportunity to shine in the Premier League when he moved to Anfield in 2017. Klopp and Liverpool have been able to bring out the best in Salah, who has been able to win the Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup, and League Cup during his time on Merseyside.
Looking back on Salah’s last five seasons in the Premier League, the forward’s level of consistency has been impressive. Only once has he not scored over 20 league goals in a campaign and that was back in the 2019-20 season when he found the back of the net 19 times. Still looking to rekindle that form that saw him score 32 league goals in 2017-18, Salah has some catching up to do to reach that figure this term.
Salah can’t do it all by himself but if he does manage to find his form in front of goal, then don’t be surprised to see Liverpool start rising rapidly up the Premier League standings.