The 2017/18 season ended in disappointment for Mohamed Salah, who was forced off with an injury in the Champions League final. Liverpool’s hopes of winning the trophy went with him and his importance to the team was keenly felt from that moment onwards.
However, nothing can detract from what has been a tremendous debut season for Liverpool, in both the Premier League and Champions League.
Good to Watch
Salah has been a delight to watch and enthralled fans across the globe with his pace, trickery and deadly finishing. The Egyptian finished the season as the Premier League top scorer, netting 32 times and breaking the record for the number of goals in a 38 game season.
Salah also won several other awards this season, including the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year, Premier League Player of the Season, Professional Footballers’ Association Players’ Player of the Year, Liverpool FC Fans’ Player of the Year and Liverpool FC Players’ Player of the Year.
While Salah did not win any silverware with Liverpool, the list of personal awards seems to be never ending and the former Roma man has his eye on another individual honour.
Ballon d’Or Contender
The Ballon d’Or is an annual football award presented by France Football, a weekly football magazine published in France. The award has been in existence since 1954 and the world’s greatest players have lifted the trophy.
Alfredo Di Stefano, Lev Yashin, Eusebio, Bobby Charlton and George Best are just some of the top players who have won the Ballon d’Or.
In recent times, the award has been dominated by two men. Since 2008, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are the only two players who have won the Ballon d’Or. Their greatness has spanned a decade and no one can deny their place as two of the best players we have ever seen in the game.
However, Salah could be about to step in stop the party and yet again make history.
If Salah was to win the award, he would become the first Egyptian player to win the Ballon d’Or. He would also become only the second African player to feature in the top three, following on from George Weah of Liberia, who win the award in 1995 while at AC Milan.
Salah would be the first player from the Premier League since 2008 to win the Ballon d’Or and even is he fails to move ahead of Ronaldo and Messi in the pecking order, a third place finish would be the first for an English based player in ten years.
What happened in the Champions League final may have put a dent in Salah’s chances of winning the Ballon d’Or 2018 but no one can deny he deserves his place alongside Ronaldo and Messi in the top three.
Newcastle United interested in signing highly-rated 21-year-old Liverpool starlet
Newcastle United are interested in Dominic Solanke, according to the Newcastle Chronicle (h/t Liverpool Echo). The report claims that the club is also looking at another Liverpool striker, Divock Origi.
The club already have a couple of players on loan from English sides, Salomon Rondon and Kenedy, and would not be allowed to make another loan move in the January window.
Solanke has struggled for game time this season and hasn’t played a single minute of football for the senior side. The 21-year-old did score a goal for the Reds in the Premier League last season and made 21 appearances in the competition.
However, only five of those were starts and the youngster hasn’t featured in any of the cup games this season either. Minutes on the pitch will be tough for the Englishman as Liverpool prefer Roberto Firmino to lead the attack.
Daniel Sturridge has seen a revival in his Anfield career this season and has four goals to his name in all competitions.
Solanke does need time on the pitch to get better and it will be interesting to see if we are willing to let him leave in the winter window or not.
Liverpool injury update: Reds confirm that star attacker has undergone a successful surgery
The Senegalese star’s surgery was supervised by our medics and was successful. The report adds that Mane’s recovery will be monitored in the coming days ahead of our clash against Huddersfield on Saturday.
The 26-year-old is on a bit of a goal drought as he hasn’t scored for club or country since September 1. Mane’s last goal came in the 2-1 win over Leicester and the 26-year-old doesn’t even have an assist to his name since scoring that goal against the Foxes.
Liverpool need their top stars to be firing but have a number of injury concerns ahead of the Huddersfield clash. Virgil van Dijk, Naby Keita, Mohamed Salah and James Milner all have issues that the club have to keep an eye on but we could see a couple of them start against the Terriers.
The Reds haven’t won a game since their 3-0 triumph over Southampton on 22nd September, but we should start as favourites against a win-less Huddersfield.
It will be interesting to see what Jurgen Klopp does with his team. We don’t have tough fixtures until te game against Arsenal November 3, and this is the ideal time for the manager to rotate the squad.
Mane is an important player for the team but he should only play when he is 100% fit.
Barcelona interested in January swoop for 29-year-old Liverpool star
The Croatian has a couple of starts for the Reds this season, with one coming in the 0-0 draw against Manchester City last week.
The 29-year-old has seen his spot in the starting XI taken up by Joe Gomez. Liverpool seem to prefer a centre-back pairing of Gomez and Virgil van Dijk, and that has seen us concede just three goals in eight Premier League games.
The La Liga champions are facing a bit of a crisis at the back, as per the report. Samuel Umtiti and Thomas Vermaelen are out for a while and that only leaves Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet as the fit central defenders in the team.
Barcelona haven’t looked invincible this season and have conceded nine goals in eight games. They sit second in the league behind Sevilla and have won just four of their opening eight games in the competition.
Lovren, for his part, recently came back from an injury he picked up during the World Cup. The Croatian looked in decent touch against Manchester City and selling him in January would be a big risk taken by the Reds.
Liverpool only have Joel Matip as their other senior central defender and we need to keep the Croatian at the club until the end of the season just in case there’s an injury crisis.
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