Central role lets Salah take centre-stage at Liverpool

Roma know the threat posed by Mohamed Salah more than most having sold the free-scoring Egyptian to Liverpool for an initial 42 million euros (o37 million, $52 million) just 10 months ago.

But that may not help the Italians much as they become the latest side to face the gauntlet of Anfield on a European night in Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final, first leg as Salah has blossomed into a goalscoring machine very few saw coming at the start of the season.

Salah’s then club record price tag was questioned at the time of the deal coming just two years after he failed to make an impression in the Premier League with Chelsea.

Now, though, it looks like an incredible bargain as Salah has netted 41 goals in 46 games to take Liverpool back to the last four of Europe’s premier club competition for the first time in a decade.

And his record-equalling tally of 31 Premier League goals for a single season saw him crowned the PFA’s Players’ Player of the Year on Sunday.

“It wasn’t like a lot of other teams than Liverpool were banging down the door,” Roma’s American co-owner James Pallotta told the BBC’s World Football programme.

“I think today a lot of teams are kicking themselves in the head that they didn’t take a closer look at him.”

In a nomadic career since moving to Europe as a 19-year-old, Salah was known for his pace and dribbling ability in spells at Basel and Fiorentina either side of a short time at Chelsea before moving to Roma.

However, the capability he has shown time and again this season to keep a cool head in front of goal used to so often fail him.

Most famously of all, Salah missed a series of one-on-ones with Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas as Roma bowed of the Champions League at the last 16 to the side that would go onto win the competition in 2016.

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This article has been posted by a News Hour Correspondent. For queries, please contact through [email protected]
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