Ian Rush tells Mohamed Salah how he can become a true Liverpool legend
Ian Rush, like Mohamed Salah, was a goal machine for Liverpool during his heyday. The difference is that he spent 15 seasons at Anfield while the Egyptian has been here for just five.
But in those five years, Salah has been scoring at a maddening rate. He has been the club’s top scorer in each season ever since he left AS Roma to join us in the summer of 2017.
Rush is currently the club’s top goalscorer in history with 346 to his name. Salah is far off that list at 156, but to score so many in five seasons is what makes him a candidate to smash that number in the future.
According to the Welsh striker, who won three league titles and two European Cups with the Reds, he would be the first to congratulate Salah if he breaks his record. But first, the former Chelsea star must first focus on becoming a true Liverpool legend. He told the ECHO:
“I think it is fantastic news and if he does [break the record], I’ll be the first to congratulate him, but more importantly the first thing is to become a true Liverpool legend. That means being at the club for seven to 10 years.”
At 30, Salah doesn’t have an eternity left at the top. But Rush cites Cristiano Ronaldo as an example and thinks that the Liverpool winger can do the same in terms of longevity.
“I look at Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United who keeps himself super fit and Mo, who is a lot younger than him [at 30], is doing exactly that too, he is keeping himself fit and he is determined to stay at that level he is at.”
What next for Salah?
If Salah manages to score more than 346 Liverpool goals since joining us in 2017, he would undoubtedly go down as one of the greatest footballers ever on the planet. He is currently 190 away from Rush’s tally.
If he scores 30 goals a season for the Reds from here on out, a task he has been succeeding at in recent years, then he could break that record into his 12th overall season at the club.
He has been here for five full campaigns and has extended his deal until 2025. Unless Salah scored 60+ goals a season, he would need to pen new terms at the club once again to have a shot at Rush’s record.
But in the modern game, fitness, pace, and power are things that are valued. Salah, for that reason, must keep himself fit and adapt to the physiological changes his body goes through due to time.
Ronaldo has seen himself become a centre-forward during his time at Juventus and Manchester United and Salah would be smart to go down that path in the future. CR7, despite his age, is now regularly seen in and around the box.
Commonly, a striker isn’t required to do as much as defending as a winger. Naturally, the widemen provide cover to full-backs while the striker, unless you’re someone like Roberto Firmino, doesn’t need to drop as deep every time his team is not in possession.
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Can Salah do the same? That is something only time will tell. For now, we must rejoice knowing he will be here for a while. The new contract extension comes as a boost for us and Salah himself would be focused more on team success rather than individual records.