Liverpool v Man City: Match in pictures
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Mohamed Salah is one of the most exciting players in the Premier League at the moment. With six goals in just seven games, Salah looks well placed to challenge for the Premier League Golden Boot once more, having won the accolade in 2017/18 and 2019/20.
Becoming a key component of Jurgen Klopp’s swashbuckling side, Salah fits the side perfectly and has become a fan favourite at Anfield since his debut four years ago.
The Egyptian winger, 29, joined Liverpool from Roma in 2017 and has continually proved himself as one of the world’s best players ever since, winning the Premier League and a Champions League winner’s medal in his time on Merseyside.
And with 101 goals in just 152 Premier League games, the winger will go down as one of the all-time Premier League greats.
But as he approaches his 30th birthday, Liverpool have a huge decision to make on his future.
Age eventually catches up with even the best players in the world, and Salah will inevitably start to decline over the next decade, forcing Anfield chiefs into a decision.
And with case studies in Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to base their decision off, Salah could be forced out of Anfield sooner than anticipated.
Sanchez was a fan favourite at Arsenal and, similar to Salah, one of the best players in the Premier League before his switch to Manchester United in January 2018.
However, United reportedly offered Sanchez – who was 29 years old at the time – £14million per year, and felt the burden when he produced nowhere near the level they expected of the Chilean.
They struggled to get him off the wage bill, eventually shifting him to Inter Milan three years later for free, having scored just five goals in 45 appearances at Old Trafford.
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Ozil was a similar tale, this time at the Emirates. The German midfielder was also 29 when he signed a new bumper deal in January 2018, worth a supposed £350,000-per-week to take him to 2021.
However, this heavily backfired against the north London side, as Ozil made just 48 more league appearances before being frozen out by Mikel Arteta and sold to Fenerbahce for free exactly three years after signing the contract.
Arsenal should have learned from the ordeal, but history also seems to be repeating itself again with star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The Gabonese international was 31 years old when Arsenal offered him a contract worth a suggested £350,000-per-week in September 2020. After scoring 44 goals in his previous two seasons, he then went off the boil with only 12 in 35 since.
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Liverpool could therefore look to stop this happening to them, either by offering Salah reduced terms to stay at Anfield or simply letting him go before his inevitable dip at an older age.
Obviously, Salah has consistently hit levels of performance that these players have never reached in the Premier League over the four years of his Liverpool tenure.
But with FSG very much financially aware, they could look to cash in just before Salah hits his worst years.
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