Mohamed Salah’s exploits at Liverpool, which have delivered 37 goals, suggest he can reach the levels of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, says Liverpool assistant manager Peter Krawietz.
He is also in the running for individual prizes such as the PFA Player of the Year award , with few able to match his contribution over the course of a memorable season which has seen him showered with praise.
Krawietz is among those who believe Salah can establish the kind of consistency which will place himself alongside Ballon d’Or-winning icons at Barcelona and Real Madrid, with the 25-year-old having come a long way since he first registered on the radar of Jurgen Klopp and his backroom team.
“At that time he tore everything up on the right wing. Since then, his name has been in our thoughts. After his strong season at AS Roma, he became really interesting again for us in Liverpool, so we included him in our scouting missions.
“His greatest strengths are his mixture of speed and goal threat. From the moment we got an eye on him, he scored a goal almost every second game.
“We also watched him in the national team to get a sense of what his best position is and how it fits with our system. He has been scoring goals for almost two years now and suits our age structure perfectly.
“He also has a strong personality. Although he is a goal-getter, he plays for the team and also defends and creates goals. We made an absolute top transfer with him.”
Krawietz added: “He is calm and knows exactly what he wants. He is very balanced and manages to get his body into shape, allowing him to perform every three days.
“This is of course a valuable factor for any coach, when someone practically guarantees this level of performance. He is totally down to earth despite the current hype and shows no ego at all.
“Constantly performing at this level over such a prolonged period of time, as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo do for example, is a great art.
“To have the ability to adapt to certain, perhaps new situations, to learn new things, to stay hungry - this is what distinguishes the really great players. They can practically never be defeated.
“We have the impression that he is on the right track in this regard. He always listens attentively when it comes to defending, for example, and constantly asks where and how he can improve.”
Salah will be looking to prove once again that he can deliver on the grandest of stages when Liverpool face Manchester City in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final on Wednesday.
He has netted seven times in Europe this season and will be hoping to have another five outings to come as he chases down Ian Rush’s record haul of 47 goals in a season for Liverpool and a sixth continental crown for the Reds.