Mohamed Salah’s remarkable exploits at Liverpool, which have delivered 41 goals, have him making club icons such as Luis Suarez and Fernando Torres “look average”, says Michael Owen.
The Reds have seen their Egypt international forward exceed all expectations during a dazzling debut campaign at Anfield.
Only Suarez can claim to have matched that return in the modern era, with Owen in awe of a man who arrived on Merseyside with a reputation as a tricky winger who lacked predatory instincts.
The former Reds striker wrote in a column for the Daily Mail: “Maybe, as Klopp suggested last week, we shouldn’t be too surprised at the rise and rise of Mohamed Salah. After all, his stats at Roma were impressive, with 19 goals last season.
“That said, he is beginning to make me and the likes of Robbie Fowler, Fernando Torres and Luis Suarez look average. And I don’t think anyone predicted he would score 41 goals by now for the club.
“I didn’t have him down as a natural goal-scorer at the start of the season. He was still a little like Raheem Sterling: raw and picking the wrong finish. He scored a lot but he missed a lot, too.
“But that chip against City changed my mind. With great goal-scorers, their mind works slower when they get a chance. Normal human behaviour when there is an accident, a crisis or stressful situation is to talk faster, breath heavier and panic.
“Being one on one with a goalkeeper clearly isn’t as stressful as a genuine trauma. But, in professional terms, it can induce anxiety and provoke similar reactions. Yet the best players can repress all of that.
“Most people’s hearts race given a chance like that. Salah has perfected the art of seeing the game in slow motion, allowing himself time to pick the right finish, even when the real-time speed is 100mph.”
Salah, who is also in the running for the PFA Player of the Year award, will be hoping that any individual honours bestowed upon him this season will be complemented by collective prizes – with Liverpool chasing down Champions League glory after reaching the semi-final stage.