Salah becomes highest-paid player in Liverpool history
Even without the intriguing transfer twists and turns, deals can be high-profile. Like this one on a contract extension between Liverpool and Salah. In five years at Anfield, the Egyptian has become a true legend for the Reds and, having lost Sadio Mane, the club could not even afford to question the retention of one of Liverpool’s new era symbols. Therefore, Salah’s contract is impressive.
Salah only had a year left on his previous contract and the Reds have cut off any possibility of transfer rumours surrounding Mohamed. Under his new contract, Salah will earn £350,000 a week, making him the highest paid player in the club’s history. And for the 30-year-old forward, it is the biggest contract of his career – he is unlikely to get more in the future.
It’s the best decision for us and for him,” commented Jurgen Klopp on the news. – This is his club now. I am sure the fans are very happy about it. They will have a lot to celebrate. I have no doubt that Mohamed’s best years are yet to come. In his first five seasons here he has become a legend.
Salah scored 156 goals in 254 games in his five years at Liverpool following a move from Roma. He has won the Champions League, the Premier League, the FA Cup, the League Cup, the Club World Cup, the UEFA Super Cup – every trophy imaginable. Statistical enthusiasts have calculated that the Egyptian is the third highest scorer in the top-five leagues since Salah joined Liverpool in goal+passage terms. He has 118 goals and 46 assists. He is second only to Robert Lewandowski with 161 goals and 23 assists and to Lionel Messi with 131 goals and 69 assists.
I feel great and I am happy to win more trophies with the club,” said Salah himself. – It is a happy day for everyone. We are ready to fight for victory everywhere. It will take us some more time but we have done all we can do. And now we have to keep working. The team has grown steadily in the last five or six years. Last season we were close to winning four tournaments, but two trophies got away from us in the last week.
Strengthening the foundations
In essence, extending Salah’s contract is not just about retaining a prolific player. It is a signal that the club retains its backbone, its structure and is ready to continue to grow, although some already questioned that when Liverpool failed to win the Champions League and the English league at the end of last season and also let Mane go to Bayern.
The deal fits well with the development plan that was outlined back in April, when Klopp and his team extended their contracts until 2026. It is worth noting that, for both Salah and the club, it was the contract extension that was a priority. Negotiations have dragged on somewhat but have been given a boost in recent days.
A Reds delegation, led by new sporting director Julian Ward, travelled to meet Salah during his summer holiday. Mike Gordon, president of Fenway Sports Group, which owns the club, played a key role in the negotiations. Gordon and Ward personally negotiated with Salah in Miami – the overall structure and content of the deal was born there.
There were some private points to be agreed, and Salah, if not agreed for some reason, would not have been ready for sale this summer. According to the BBC, Mohamed was only considering two options: either extend his contract or leave Liverpool for free in the summer of 2023. As you can see, the most favourable scenario for both sides has worked out.
Transformation at Anfield
It is now difficult to imagine that Salah did not immediately succeed at the top teams. There was, after all, the famous move to Chelsea from Basel, who was paid £11m by the Blues. But at Stamford Bridge, Mohamed was nowhere near his current form. Incidentally, if you look at him from that period, it is striking how much more athletic Salah became at Liverpool. At Chelsea he was a skinny dribbler and now under his picture Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain writes: “That’s it, I’m going to the gym!”
Salah’s athleticism did not increase much in Italy, but after Fiorentina there was a successful season at Roma, when Liverpool dared to risk bringing the Egyptian back to the Premier League. That was when the transformation began: technique and skill were complemented by experience and “physique”. He has missed just ten Premier League games in the last five seasons. Salah himself talks about diet and a strict training schedule:
‘Nutrition is part of the game. It has helped my body to get back on track. My nutritionist says I am not a gram overweight and I can eat whatever I want. I don’t drink alcohol, which is great. My breakfast is usually a scone with a glass of milk, and I can have a bowl of fruit if I’m feeling hungry. At lunch, I load my body up with calories by eating a lot of legumes, vegetables, bread and chicken. Dinner usually consists of soup, salad and vegetables. Sometimes I allow myself a pizza. During Ramadan, I wake up at three in the morning to work out.
In England, they love to discuss contracts and other people’s money. But this time everyone is surprisingly unanimous in admitting that Salah has deservedly become the highest-paid player in Liverpool’s history. A rather popular opinion was expressed by former England forward Darren Bent:
“The club have spent a lot of money, but think what he has done for Liverpool. He has played 254 games, scored 156 goals and given 63 assists. Those are unbelievable numbers. Since coming to Liverpool, Salah has been phenomenal. He has scored goals constantly, threatening from the centre, right and left. Many must have been upset when Mane left, but Liverpool gave great news by extending Salah.
I can imagine the excitement, not only from the fans, but from the players themselves who understand how important Mohamed is to the team. It’s very motivating for the players and will benefit the entire Premier League. He is in the prime of his career now. He will score more than 20 league goals again next season. He has been top scorer three times. He’s been breaking all the new records. His numbers are staggering.
Yes, he’ll be on £350,000 a week now. But to compete with Manchester City, you have to retain players like that. Van Dijk should be next. Liverpool couldn’t afford to lose Mane and Salah all at once. That would have lowered the club’s level of claim. Yes, they have newcomers Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez. But they need time to assert themselves.