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Mohamed Salah; Nice guy, unexpected superstar!

When Liverpool quibbled with Roma over an extra two million pounds on Mo Salah's price last summer, the fans didn't panic and worry that another team would swoop in and nab him. The truth is nobody else wanted him. He was viewed as a good buy but not someone to sit at European football's top table. I felt that he was a good fit for Liverpool because of his pace, something Liverpool lacked. I also thought he would play on the left as Sadio Mane seemed untouchable. I thought that the threat of Salah's pace would give Mane more space to operate in, not that Mane would be upstaged by Salah's brilliance. Mane of course has been spectacular and enjoyed the best season of his career but Salah has been completely irresistible.
Salah has developed as well, he has improved dramatically throughout the season and very slightly changed his role within a game. At the start of the season Salah was much more involved in the build up play than he is in recent games. He is still happy to fulfil his defensive duties but he now does them less earnestly and I assume this is on Klopp's instruction. Klopp wants Liverpool able to take advantage of quick transitions and he needs  Salah fresh and ready to attack when this happens, not winded from a long sprint back towards his own goal. When he first played for Liverpool I felt he tried to hard, something he was also guilty of at Chelsea, but early goals settled him down.
I felt that he was a bit of a one trick pony cutting in from the right wing and curling shots with his left. Indeed respected journalist Guillen Balague remarked that he was , " becoming like Arjen Robben, you knew what he was going to do but couldn't stop him doing it. " However the goal he got in the seven nil  rout of Maribor changed my view. He again cut onto his left but then produced an immaculate Cruyff turn, brought the ball back onto his right, sending three defenders, the goalkeeper and half the stadium the wrong way before smashing the ball into the roof of the net with his weaker right foot. Since that moment although left footed curlers are most common he has scored all types of goal.
 Salah 's strengths are easy to identify but difficult to stop. He has blistering pace, a killer first touch, a sweet left foot and impeccable composure in front of goal. On top of that whenever he  receives the ball, he is positive, he looks to affect the match in a positive manner. In the last few weeks his decision making has gone up a level, obviously he is in the middle of a purple patch but in front of goal, he has dinked, smashed and curled, always the right  choice and nearly always the right outcome.
On top of his match winning displays and goalscoring exploits he has remained a team player. Twice on Tuesday night  with a Champions league semi final hat trick beckoning, bearing down on goal he unselfishly rolled the ball across the box for better placed team mates to score. Lesser players may have shot themselves. He took club captain Jordan Henderson to the P.F.A. Player of the Year awards because he felt that although it was an individual honour the team should be represented and acknowledged for their contribution. He is being touted for the Ballon D'or but remains humble and maybe his faith helps, he performs  a sujood after every goal and is definitely a positive face of Islam.
Mo Salah is that rare phenomenon in top level sport, he is both successful and a nice guy. He is respected by fans of other clubs, even Man United fans and of course the red half of Merseyside adores him.
No one knew he was going to be this good and no one minds that he is!

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