23 April 2018

Professional Footballers' Association

Egypt: Men's PFA Players' Player of the Year Winner - Mohamed Salah

Photo: Liverpool
Mohamed Salah
press release

Liverpool's Egyptian winger Mohamed Salah has been crowned the men's PFA Players' Player of the Year at the 45th PFA Awards in London.

The mesmeric Egyptian forward has taken the Premier League by storm this season, leaving a trail of despairing defenders in his wake. He has played the starring role in Liverpool's dynamic front three and his eye-popping goal-scoring form makes him the clear favourite for the Golden Boot.

Salah sometimes looks to be playing the game on fast forward. From his time at Chelsea, fans of the Premier League were in no doubt about Salah's electric pace and dribbling ability, but even his most enthusiastic admirers could not have predicted quite how goal-laden his season would become.

It is rare that players with Salah's skill-set have the end product to match, but the Egyptian has it in buckets and has been simply irrepressible for an exciting Liverpool team this term. At the time of writing he is four clear in the Premier League goal-scoring charts and has also provided an impressive nine assists for his team-mates, with his Champions League form equally spectacular.

Beginning his career at Egyptian side El Mokawloon, Salah has had spells at FC Basel, Chelsea, Roma and Fiorentina on loan, but it is at Liverpool that he is showing his true potential. His ability to jink and fly past opposition defenders is amazing, but he has also demonstrated the vision and decision-making to pick a pass at the right time and combines his invention with a finish as clinical as any around. His link-up play with team-mates such as Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané is breath-taking on occasion.

Whisper it, and Liverpool fans increasingly do, but the player he most resembles is a certain well-known Argentinian currently plying his trade at Barcelona. Indeed, the Italian media crowned him the 'Egyptian Messi' during his time at Roma. His superb second goal against Tottenham in February saw him find a seemingly impossible route through a thicket of bewildered defenders before clipping the ball effortlessly into the roof of the net. With four brilliant goals from four shots against Watford in March, those whispers began to gather volume.

Throughout his career to date his managers have praised not only his obvious ability, but also his maturity and determination. José Mourinho lauded his humility and readiness to work hard for the team, while his current manager, Jürgen Klopp, pays tribute to the 25-year old for his exemplary "attitude" and "character".

Despite his relative youth, Egyptian national hero Salah has already passed the 30-goal mark for his country, helping them to their first World Cup since 1990 as the top scorer in qualification with five goals, including a crucial last-minute penalty in the 2-1 win over Congo. Expect the 2017 CAF African Player of the Year to light up the World Cup Finals in the summer.

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