When Mohamed Salah joined Liverpool for a then club-record fee of £36.5million, questions were raised as to whether he could deliver the goods.
With trophyless Jurgen Klopp continuing his transition of the team in 2017, Salah's previous stint in the Premier League at Chelsea was brief and short. Full of flair, pace and creativity, he was not given the chance to flourish under Jose Mourinho's watch at Stamford Bridge.
After three seasons in Serie A, Klopp forced the Liverpool hierarchy to get the cheque book out and sign the Egyptian, and it is safe to say that the rest is history. Just in case you have forgotten the sheer brilliance of the 29-year-old, Planet Sport is here to remind you of one of the Premier League’s finest.
Winning the Champions League
Despite a record-breaking debut season for Liverpool in 2017/18, it ended in heartbreak for Salah in the UEFA Champions League final after sustaining a dislocated shoulder inside 29 minutes against Real Madrid. Needless to say, Sergio Ramos was involved in the challenge.
Twelve months on, it was a different story for Salah and Liverpool, who defeated Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 in an all-English final to lift Europe’s most prestigious trophy. Salah opened the scoring after converting a penalty inside two minutes, which made it the second fastest goal in a Champions League final behind Paolo Maldini’s strike against Liverpool in 2005.
The forward finished the tournament with five goals, including a crucial effort against Napoli to earn a place in the knockout rounds. It was the sixth time Liverpool have won the famous competition - only Real Madrid (13) and AC Milan (7) have won the competition on more occasions.
Salah was also nominated for the FIFPro World 11 due to his exquisite performances in Europe. In 2020, Salah scored his 23rd Champions League goal for Liverpool to become the club’s all-time top goalscorer in the competition.
Ending 30 Years of Hurt
The 2019/20 season will live long in the memory of the Anfield faithful, with Liverpool winning their first Premier League title in 30 years.
Salah was an integral part of the title-winning side, netting 19 times and providing 10 assists in 34 league appearances. Salah scored the opener in a 2-1 victory over Bournemouth which saw Jurgen Klopp’s men claim their 22nd successive home win - a record in the English top flight.
In a campaign which was temporarily paused because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Klopp’s Liverpool finished the season on 99 points - a remarkable 18 points in front of second-placed Manchester City.
2018 Puskas Award
In 2018, Salah was awarded the FIFA Puskas award for his strike against Merseyside rivals Everton. The forward beat his man before finding the top corner with a brilliant left-footed effort, giving England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford absolutely no chance.
The decision was met with mixed reactions from soccer fans with many - probably Everton supporters - claiming there were other goals more deserving of the gong. Liverpool teammate James Milner joked it was Salah’s “seventh best goal” of the season on social media.
First hattrick for Liverpool
Salah scored his first hattrick for Liverpool in March 2018 but typically the Egyptian still wasn't satisfied with just three goals, and ended the game against Watford with a quadruple. He also provided an assist for Roberto Firmino so had a hand in all five goals. Safe to say, we know who took the match ball home.
Salah joined an elite list of players to have scored four times in a Premier League game alongside Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Thierry Henry, Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney. Salah also set a club record for most goals in a debut season, overtaking Fernando Torres’ total of 33.
Mohamed Salah Street in Gouna
With more than 40 goals scored at international level, Salah is regarded as a national hero in Egypt. Following a series of individual performances that guided Egypt to 2018 World Cup qualification, Salah had a street named after him in El Gouna to celebrate the achievement.
Egyptian businessman Naguib Sawiris said: “Salah took Egypt’s name to a whole new level abroad, so one of my Twitter followers suggested we name a street after him.” And so they did. The power of social media, hey? Salah stated that it was an “honour” to have a street named after him in his home nation.
Salah has also won many individual awards for his performances on the world stage, including African Footballer of the Year in 2017 and 2018.
Celebration against Chelsea
In April 2019, Salah scored a stunning goal in a 2-0 win over Chelsea at Anfield. He celebrated by adopting a yoga pose, sending social media into a frenzy. The forward later explained the celebration, saying: “I do yoga and it just came to my mind.
"I don't think. I just feel. Normally I shoot with the inside of my foot. But this one I decided, because it was far, to hit it with power. I was lucky the ball hit the net like that.”
Premier League scoring record
Salah took the Premier League by storm in his first season with Liverpool, scoring 32 goals in 36 league games - beating the club record previously held by Luis Suarez. Since then, the former Chelsea man has continued his prolific form, winning the Golden Boot award in 2017/18 and 2018/19.
Last term, he became the first Liverpool player to score 20 goals in three successive seasons since club legend Michael Owen in 2003. Salah also became the first player to reach 70 goals in his first 100 appearances for Liverpool, beating Torres’ total of 63. Only Alan Shearer has scored more Premier League goals in his first 100 appearances for a single club (79).
By Dan Barnes, follow him on Twitter