Thursday Oct 29, 2020. 13:00
Egypt vice-captain Mohamed Salah’s influence on Liverpool FC extends far beyond his goal tally according to club captain Jordan Henderson.
The prolific winger recently became the third-fastest player in the English club’s history to the 100-goal mark when he netted in a draw with Everton earlier this month which saw him reach the milestone of a century of strikes in just 159 appearances.
Only Roger Hunt and Jack Parkinson achieved the feat in quicker time than Salah and the 28-year-old hitman has been lauded by his teammate Henderson on the club’s official website.
“Mo’s numbers are jaw-dropping. He’s achieved his century in just 159 appearances – that is computer game stuff! “I read that Mo got to this milestone in the third-quickest time in LFC history,” Henderson said.
“I shouldn’t be surprised, but it yet again underlines just how blessed we all are to be working with him, or be a supporter of this club at the time he is here with us.”
“Not for one minute do I think Mo is taken for granted; he 100 per cent isn’t by anyone associated with our club at least. But I do think the level of his achievement maybe deserves a little more recognition in the game,” he continued.
“It’s possible that the numbers he hit in his first season with us – 40-plus goals – means everything else since has been measured by an unfair and unrealistic yardstick.
“As someone privileged to play alongside him, I can tell you I think he is so much better now than during that first season. I also think his contribution now is more important than in that first season. As amazing as he was, he has only got better and better.
“If you look at how we have evolved as a team since 2017-18, the contribution by Mo to that has been as big as anyone’s. He works so hard for the team, sacrifices for the team.”
Salah is now on 101 goals after scoring in his 162nd appearance for the Reds as they defeated Danish giants Midtjylland in the UEFA Champions League Group D match on Tuesday.
“All of us on the pitch benefit from that. “It does feel – rightly or wrongly – that Mo is only really praised when he scores goals, and that for me is missing so much of the all-round contribution he makes,” the English midfielder added.
“I can’t remember where I heard it or who from, but I remember people saying that in his prime Ian Rush was Liverpool’s best defender. And this is because of the work he did by setting the tone with his work-rate from the front.
“We are so fortunate to have this quality in all our front players. Sadio [Mane], Bobby [Roberto Firmino], Taki [Takumi Minamino], Diogo [Jota], Divock [Origi], Shaq [Xherdin Shaqiri] and so on… To play in our forward line you have to be about far more than just goals and assists. Mo epitomises the best of that and yet still gets the numbers he does,” Henderson said.
“Personally speaking, I hope the goal at Goodison Park was Mo reaching his first hundred for Liverpool and there are so many more to come. I’m sure that will be the case. But in the meantime, I can’t begin to tell you how much we all appreciate him.”