May 18, 2024

Liverpool is going to bring a player who might be the ideal Mohamed Salah replacement.

 

In advance of Kylian Mbappe’s contract with Paris Saint-Germain expiring next summer, Liverpool has once more been linked to move for the player. The French sensation has been frequently linked to the Reds in recent years, and they made an attempt to sign him in 2017 when he left AS Monaco. But in the intervening period, he has gotten farther and farther away from their optimistic reach. The World Cup winner would be too costly for Liverpool, according to statements made by Jurgen Klopp on multiple occasions. Dr. Ian Graham, the Reds’ now-former director of research, also reiterated this point last summer.

According to Graham (via The Guardian), “Any statistical model will tell you that Kylian Mbappe is the best player in Europe at the moment.” But regrettably, he is outside of Liverpool’s league in terms of money. The players who perform the best per pound are what we’re after.

Of course, that hasn’t stopped such speculation with a number of recent reports overseas suggesting that Liverpool could look to sign him on a free transfer. Football Insider have also reported that the Reds are monitoring the France international’s situation, though concede it is unlikely they could afford such a deal with Mbappe currently earning a reported £1.2m a week in Paris.

Mohamed Salah is the highest-paid player in Liverpool’s history, having signed a deal worth up to £400k-a-week courtesy of performance bonuses in the summer of 2022. Even if the Egyptian were to move on amid ongoing interest from Saudi Arabia, his wage is a mere drop in the ocean compared to what Mbappe continues to earn.

Granted, the Reds have lowered their wage bill considerably over the past 18 months with the likes of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, Fabinho and Jordan Henderson all moving on, plus Thiago Alcantara expected to do the same next summer. But any attempt to sign Mbappe would completely undermine their current pay structure.

Consequently, any possibility of Mbappe moving to Anfield remains an almost certain non-starter, with the failed pursuit of Jude Bellingham this year only adding to the Liverpool pessimism and realism regarding such a big-money transfer. No matter how much you cross your fingers, feasibly they can’t be part of that conversation.

If the Reds actually found a way to make a move for the France international, it would surely come with the caveat of Salah being sold in a big-money move to Saudi Arabia. Yet even in such a scenario, such a prospect does not appear realistic.

And that’s before we even consider the fact that Liverpool have committed to spending £179m on an attacking revamp over the past two years, bringing in Luis Diaz, Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo. Along with Diogo Jota, the quartet have the centre and left of the Reds’ attack well covered.

And while you can argue if you possess Mbappe, you build your attack around him, the Frenchman has not started a game on the right for PSG since December 2020. While capable of playing the role, in sporting terms he would not be a Salah replacement.

But if we remove Mbappe from the conversation entirely, with only his high-earning status loosely linking him to Salah, who could possibly be a like-for-like replacement for Liverpool’s prolific Egyptian King? He remains the standout left-footed inverted forward at the highest level of world football, after all.

At one point, Bukayo Sako could have been the subject of Reds’ desires, but Arsenal’s transformation into title contenders and return to the Champions League under Mikel Arteta, accompanied by the signing of a new long-term contract back in May, makes that rather unlikely.

Bayern Munich’s interest in Khvicha Kvaratskhelia has dwindled since last season’s Champions League match with Napoli. Club sources have dismissed the possibility of a move for Leroy Sane from the club, as it goes against club policy to sign players of his age. Real Sociedad’s Takefusa Kubo and Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Pedro Neto are also linked with Liverpool.

Salah, a Cameroon international, has been a key player for the Bees since winning promotion to the Premier League in 2021. With 19 goals and 17 assists in 84 appearances, he is on track to surpass his nine goals last season. Salah has a versatile profile, playing in the Premier League, World Cup, and Africa Cup of Nations. He is under contract until 2026.

In the meantime, he keeps up his impressive play against the top teams in English football; he has contributed 12 goals against Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United, Liverpool, and Man City. If he performs well against the Reds at Anfield on Sunday, it will only enhance his already burgeoning reputation.

To be honest, it is a bit early to start making assumptions about Salah’s potential replacements. He has a contract that expires in 2025, so it’s unclear if he would prefer to finish out his current term at Anfield or relocate to Saudi Arabia the following summer.

However, when the time comes, the club’s hiring team will be searching the market for potential replacements. While Mbappe is an elite striker who is currently out of reach, he could soon be

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