Anfield HQ speak with John Solano on Liverpool target Mohamed Salah
With only a few weeks left on the season, Liverpool Football Club are fighting for their 2017-18 Champions League lives. As Jurgen Klopp and some journalists have stated many times before, Champions League football is crucial for the summer transfer window.
There have been several names thrown around and linked to the Reds such as Julian Brandt, Douglas Costa, Luan, Naby Keita and, most recently, Mohamed Salah. Salah has had a breakout year at Roma and is highly rated among the fans.
I was able to speak with John Solano, Football Writer and Editor at the popular Roma site AS Roma Press about Salah, the swirling rumours and where he sees Salah in 2017-18. John is Very well connected in Italian football and here is what he had to say.
First off, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to join Anfield HQ to discuss Roma player Mohamed Salah. With recent reports from reliable Liverpool reporter Melissa Reddy claiming the Reds may be interested in Salah, I’d like to get your opinion about the player, his contributions at Roma, thoughts on the transfer link, etc. Let’s get started:
1. After a rather difficult spell with Chelsea starting in 2014, Mohamed Salah seems to have come into his own at Roma. What are the thoughts on him as a player at this point in his career?
He’s shown the class and ability that he wasn’t able to display at Chelsea. He’s gone from being a youngster with potential to a full-on top class player and one of the most dangerous attackers in Italy.
2. One of the first attributes fans notice about Salah is his pace. Aside from that, what are his best qualities? Also, what are his biggest weaknesses?
I’d say that aside from his pace, his greatest attribute, for me, is exploiting every bit of space a defender gives him. Salah is extremely elusive and seems to almost always make defenders pay for sitting back on him. One thing he must work on, though, is his finishing ability. He wastes a lot of chances and could easily have several more goals to his name had he been more clinical.
3. If my research is accurate, Salah is the only player on Roma to notch 10+ assists and goals on the season (please correct me if that’s wrong). How has he become so effective in their attack? What position is he most comfortable playing in on the pitch?
He’s settled in nicely on the right wing and that certainly seems to be the area of the pitch where he’s most comfortable. Salah’s technical ability has vastly improved from a year ago and he’s been one of the reasons why Edin Dzeko has been reborn this season and why his assist tally is up: he’s been providing the other members of Roma’s attack with a number of opportunities to score.
4. As I’m sure you have seen Melissa Reddy’s link between Salah and Liverpool, do you personally believe that’s a deal that could come to fruition?
With Monchi at the helm and Roma never being shy to sell players for the right price, a deal for any player at Roma is never out of the question. Roma are one of the better selling clubs in Europe, so should a club come with an offer that Roma find satisfying, I could certainly see them selling.
5. If Salah were to move on from Roma, what price do you believe he would be valued at?
This is tricky. Roma paid a fairly hefty sum for Salah (€20 million total plus bonuses), so any club who want to pry the attacker away have to obviously offer something well above that. Given what we’ve seen other attackers sell for, it wouldn’t be outrageous to consider Salah a €40-€50 million player.
6. Do you believe his difficult experience in England previously would deter him from going back to the UK?
I do. I think his style of play fits Serie A and Italy quite well. I think his smaller frame and the physical nature of the Premier League are not a great match.
7. With some conflicting reports out there I’d just like to set the record straight. To your knowledge, have Roma discussed renewing Salah to fend off potential buyers this summer or have no discussions even taken place to tie him down?
To my knowledge, Roma have indeed held talks regarding a renewal. Salah is one of the higher earners at Roma and still has a few years left on his current contract. So while there is a mutual interest in a new contract, there isn’t the need to rush.
8. When the transfer window comes and goes, where do you personally believe Mohamed Salah will be playing football in 2017-18?
My guess is that he will remain at Roma. Obviously, things change in football by the minute. Given, though, his fondness of Rome, how well he’s settled in the city, how much he’s appreciated by the club’s directors and fans, and the huge role he’s been given at the team, leaving to return to England makes little sense. Of course, I wouldn’t be shocked if he left.
Thank you very much for taking the time to speak with Anfield HQ and share information about one of Roma’s most dangerous attackers this season! All the best!
Interview conducted by Michael Pietrzak