As sad as this is to write, there will be a time that Mohamed Salah won’t be a Reds player anymore. When that time does come, the Liverpool coaching staff will have an extremely difficult decision on who should replace him.
Ever since arriving at Anfield back in 2017, Mohamed Salah’s output has been outstanding. The “Egyptian King” has contributed heavily to the club’s success with his goal contributions to date. His 108 goals and 44 assists are extraordinary numbers and has seen him regarded as one of the best players in the world.
In his first season at Anfield, Salah broke the record for most goals scored in a 38 domestic league season with 32 strikes to his name in the Premier League, an output nobody thought would be possible.Embed from Getty Images
What makes Salah’s output even more exceptional is the fact that he has managed the feet as a winger and not a traditional striker, granted he does act as more of an inside forward than your normal wide man.
Now 28 years old, some have suggested that Salah will need to be replaced within the next three or four seasons due to his age. Fans have widely speculated over a plethora of players, with the rumoured links with mega money moves for Kylian Mbappé and Jadon Sancho gathering the most fanfare.
However, Liverpool could already have the answer to their problem within their current ranks, in teenage sensation Harvey Elliott.
Having moved to the Merseyside club from Fulham in 2019, when he was aged just 16, he has developed rapidly which has seen him gain valuable game time in the Carabao Cup and FA Cup since his move.
Now aged 17 and looking for experience, the teenager has made the move to Championship side Blackburn Rovers on loan, where he is currently taking the division by storm.Embed from Getty Images
Since making the switch to Tony Mowbrays’s side, Elliot has scored four and grabbed another four assists. His average of a goal contribution every other game he plays in is a startling statistic for someone so young.
To put it into perspective, fellow Liverpool loanee Harry Wilson, who has a plethora of experience in the Championship and the Premier League, is currently averaging a goal contribution every three games. Elliott’s contribution rate is truly sensational from a player who isn’t yet old enough to buy himself a pint.
Just like Salah, Harvey Elliott is a left-footed right winger, making him the perfect fit for the inside forward role that Klopp loves to play with, and which the dynamic Egyptian currently fills within the German’s set-up.
At Blackburn, Elliott is averaging 0.8 shots per game along with 2.4 key passes. Salah is much more of a goal threat than Elliott as he averages 4.3 shots per game with 2.6 key passes. However, it is key to remember that Salah is at the peak of his powers, whilst Elliott is starting out on his journey. Furthermore, the former Roma man is playing with better players on a weekly basis, whilst the Englishman grinds it out in the Championship.
Considering everything above, these make the former Fulham man’s numbers even more extraordinary, showing his class and clear development in the short time he has been in the blue and white of Blackburn.Embed from Getty Images
If he can come back to Liverpool with a good season under his belt, it is possible that he could manoeuvre himself to the front of the queue for game time. With the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri, Divock Origi and Takumi Minamino all looking for increased minutes, he will be entering a competitive environment on his return.
The winger is still at the young age that, if he spends enough time under the guidance of Klopp, he can be moulded into the ideal forward for Liverpool Football Club. The youngster has already shown he is willing to press with 1.1 tackles per game and 0.9 interceptions, just the kind of attributes Klopp loves.
Harvey Elliott is showing that he is capable of blooming early and will be looking to players such as Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford as inspiration. If he continues his swift development and rise in the game, when the time comes for a replacement in the forward line, the teenager will be right there ready to perform.
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