Opinion

Making of the Man: Remembering Mo Salah’s Career-Ascending Time at Roma

ROME, ITALY - MARCH 19: Mohamed Salah of AS Roma celebrates after scoring the team's second goal during the Serie A match between AS Roma and US Sassuolo at Stadio Olimpico on March 19, 2017 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)
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It’s true that Roma fans can only look at Mo Salah’s incredible achievements at Liverpool with envy.

At the time of writing, the Egyptian has blasted 147 goals in 231 games for the English club, winning the Champions League, Premier League and UEFA Super Cup along the way. And that’s before we mention the plethora of personal achievements and accolades he has won.

The Giallorossi supporters would have been in prime position to say, ‘I told you so’, given that Salah exhibited his brilliance in a spell at the Stadio Olimpico that very much laid the foundations for what would follow.

Where It All Began

Despite being just two points behind leaders Arsenal after a third of the Premier League season, Liverpool finds themselves to be 9/2 underdogs with those placing their Premier League bets on the title winner – Manchester City (4/7) and Arsenal (7/2) are more fancied.

Salah finds himself prominent in the Premier League top goalscorer odds once more after notching ten goals in the opening 13 games of the campaign, so if the 31-year-old remains fit and firing there’s no reason why he can’t power the Reds very close to the title – assuming Man City don’t run away with it.

There were enough signs in the 1-1 draw between the teams in November that Liverpool are a match for the champions, with echoes of the 2016/17 Serie A season – when Roma came so close to upsetting the odds and hauling in the title favourites, Juventus.

That, of course, was Salah’s second full season in Rome – his first had confirmed the Egyptian as a top talent after he had been effectively dumped by Chelsea… and Jose Mourinho, no less.

Bouncing Back

Roma fans saw glimpses of what Salah was capable of during a short loan spell at Fiorentina during the 2014/15 campaign, but it was the following season that he would show the footballing world what he was capable of.

He delivered 20 goal contributions in 32 Serie A appearances, also scoring in the Champions League as the winger became a central figure in Rudi Garcia and then Luciano Spalletti’s teams.

Thanks to a clause in his loan agreement, Roma could make Salah’s temporary move a permanent switch for as little as €15 million (£13 million) – that has to go down as one of the club’s best-ever pieces of transfer business.

The Egyptian returned as a full member of the Roma squad in 2016/17, delivering the season that would make him a global football icon – 26 goal contributions in Serie A and a handful more in the Europa League campaign.

He played his part in another slice of Roma folklore – it was Salah who would make way for Francesco Totti to play his last game for the club at the end of the season.

His time in Rome was sadly all too brief – Liverpool forking out £43 million for his services in the summer of 2017, but even in that short stint in the red shirt Salah confirmed himself to be one of the best players of the club’s modern era.

He would be welcome back at Roma in a heartbeat… although it’s doubtful that he would want to link up with Mourinho again!

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MatchDay 37
19 May 20:45
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