Mohamed Salah’s rumoured move to Liverpool has already had twists, turns and dives but it seems like the winger will complete a transfer from Roma sooner rather than later.
The former Chelsea man has been wished all best with the move by a friend on Twitter and his agent keeps dropping hints too, meaning the Egyptian seems set on gracing Anfield in the new season.
As with any big move there’s always a ripple effect, but which individuals from Liverpool and beyond will be most impacted by Salah’s impending transfer to the Merseyside club?
Winner: Philippe Coutinho
The Brazilian international is arguably Liverpool’s best player. When he was fit during the first-half of the season just gone the Reds looked on course to sustain a Premier League title bid and his six-week absence for the team coincided with a drop in form.
Upon returning to the squad it did take a while for Coutinho to find his groove. In fact it wasn’t until he moved into a more deep-lying central midfield role towards the end of the campaign did he regain his best form.
Salah’s arrival would likely result in him joining Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino in the front three, thus allowing Coutinho to gain more experience playing as a central midfielder where he can get on the ball, not have to worry about the prospect of being isolated out on the left wing.
Yes he will need to work on the defensive aspects this role comes with, but if his performance against West Ham is anything to go by then Coutinho certainly benefits from Salah joining the club.
Loser: Divock Origi
Liverpool already possess an abundance of attacking talent. Danny Ings has once again been injured all season and Daniel Sturridge, for all the rumours about his future, now looks more likely to be staying at the club.
With Salah’s impending arrival then what does that mean for the future of one Divock Origi? The Belgian attacker started just 14 Premier League matches this past season, and only played the full 90 minutes in five of those.
Origi is a powerful front-man but his versatility has been his greatest attribute for Liverpool, filling in on the flanks when needed, so when Salah arrives the 22-year-old’s most vital area will be covered.
There have been whispers on social media that Monaco and Lyon are both keen on Origi and, while it’s uncertain whether there is concrete interest, the striker’s best option now may be to move on in order to secure regular playing time.
Winners: Damien Comolli, Kenny Dalglish and Andy Carroll
Liverpool’s club record signing is Andy Carroll. On deadline day during the 2011 January transfer window, the Reds splashed 35million to lure the tall striker away from Newcastle United as a direct replacement for Fernando Torres – who left for Chelsea in a £50m deal.
At the time Comolli’s was the club’s director of football having joined in November 2010. Kenny Dalglish was in the hot seat but the move didn’t work out for any of the three involved.
Carroll failed to live up to the hefty price-tag and was shipped out to West Ham 18 months later, Dalglish just could’t get the best out of the centre forward and it turned out to be one of many poor decisions made by Comolli in the transfer market. An expensive one at that too.
Should a deal for Salah go through then Carroll’s ill-fated move to Merseyside will be expunged from the record books as Salah’s transfer fee is expected to surpass the sum of money paid to the Magpies, something all three involved will greatly appreciate.
Loser: Edin Dzeko
For all the talk of Salah moving back to these shores there has to be some consideration for where he’s coming from, and no one will miss out more for the Egyptian departing Roma than Edin Dezko.
The former Manchester City striker finished top of the Serie A pile this campaign with 29 league goals and Dzeko formed a formidable partnership with Salah, with the winger providing the assist for seven of his finishes.
Salah played 11 Serie A assists all season, meaning only four of those didn’t go to Dzeko in what was the most effective partnership in Serie A this past season.
With the 25-year-old now seemingly destined for Anfield Dzeko will be losing his most effective attacking partner which will surely impact his own form and therefore Roma’s ability to push on.
It remains to be seen how Roma will replace Salah if a deal is finalised but it will take some work for Dzeko to form as strong a relationship with the new signing.
Winner: Jurgen Klopp
A little bit of an obvious one but in Salah the German tactician has found a player that suits his style of football to a tee.
Klopp wants his attacking players in particular to be interchangeable and the Egyptian can play as a winger on either side, a false nine and behind the main striker.
Pressing from the front is probably the most common theme of any Klopp team and Salah certainly does that. Making 11 interceptions and winning 22 tackles for Roma in Serie A during the season just gone shows he’s willing to put a shift in.
He’s quick too. Transition football has been a key factor for Liverpool under the German as they win the ball back in midfield and break like relay runners. With Mane one side and Salah on the other, Klopp will surely be excited about the prospect.
The consequences for Chelsea should Salah sign for Liverpool could be two-fold.
Firstly Antonio Conte has been targeting a move for two of Roma’s centre-backs, if reports are to be believed, in Antonio Rüdiger and Kostas Manolas.
Roma’s new sporting director Monchi has already denied the Blues’ chances of signing Rudiger, telling RomaToday: “For Rudiger there are no negotiations going on and there are zero chance he leaves Roma.”
A move for Manolas will also be unlikely now, particularly if Roma get their asking figure for Salah, as the winger’s sale will be more than enough to appease Financial Fair Play regulations.
With the Italian club on the right side of these numbers there will be no need to sell a defender to Chelsea.
Secondly Salah’s return to the Premier League for high money will one again highlight Chelsea’s flawed transfer philosophy with the winger joining the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Nemanja Matic in proving the Blues were wrong to let him depart.
Chelsea beat Liverpool to Salah’s signature the first time around but allowed him to leave after just 13 Premier League showings, spending a year on loan at Fiorentina before signing for Roma.
The Blues are already reportedly set for the embarrassment of spending big money to re-sign Romelu Lukaku this summer, but that humiliation will be increased if Salah can show his true quality in the Premier League.