According to Wayne Rooney, Mohamed Salah is beginning to have the same impact for Liverpool as Cristiano Ronaldo once had on Manchester United.
Over the last three years, Salah has played an integral role in transforming Liverpool from also-rans into European champions and Premier League pace-setters.
In the summer of 2017, the Egyptians completed a £ 34 million ($42 m) move from Roma to Anfield and have scored 91 goals in 144 appearances for the club since. Twenty of those efforts have come this season, with Liverpool now on the verge of winning a 30-year first league title under Jurgen Klopp.
Along with Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane, Salah has formed one-third of a deadly attacking triumvirate that has blown away domestic opposition defenses. In their opening 29 fixtures this season, the Reds have hit 66 goals, the second-best record in the top flight, and need just two more wins to be confirmed as England champions.
In the final third, Rooney praised Salah as a persistent threat to Liverpool, thus highlighting parallels between Cristiano Ronaldo, the 28-year-old, and 5-time Ballon d’Or winner.
Before being snapped up by Real Madrid, the Juventus striker gained legendary status for his performances at United between 2003 and 2009, and Rooney thinks that Salah beats fear into defenders in the same way that the Portuguese used to at Old Trafford.
United’s record scorer told The Times: “Mo Salah is starting to do what Ronaldo did for Manchester United in terms of just being there and not really getting back to defense but always being a threat so if you’re a defender or midfielder playing against him. On the counterattack, you’re frightened at him.”
Salah will be back in contention for a place in Klopp’s starting XI when Liverpool get back on the pitch for the first time in over three months against Everton on Sunday.
The Reds have lost points just twice during the season, and are expected to return to winning ways in a critical Merseyside derby that will be played behind closed doors at Goodison Park due to the ongoing coronavirus threat.