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Is Salah on his way to eclipsing Suarez in goalscoring stakes?

It is now 17 goals in 21 appearances across all competitions for Mohamed Salah.

Advent calendars are yet to be opened, but he is already Liverpool‘s best goalscorer in a single campaign for the past three seasons.

Last Saturday’s strike against Chelsea meant no Liverpool player had reached the milestone of 10 Premier League goals faster than Salah. And, after his double against Stoke, he is one away from equalling Sadio Mané’s tally at the club, despite the Senegalese having had a year’s head start on him.

There are countless ways to describe the excellent start that the Egyptian has made on Merseyside, but discuss Salah’s scoring for any good length of time and comparisons are inevitably made with the last prolific player within Liverpool’s ranks.

Luis Suarez’s shadow still looms around Anfield.

Whether he was why Brendan Rodgers almost ended the club’s long wait for a league title in 2014 remains a matter for debate.

What is unquestionable is the fact that, when he left, Liverpool lost a significant amount of firepower.

Rickie Lambert and Mario Balotelli came in and, together, replaced less than a quarter of the Uruguayan’s goals.

The signings of Mané and Roberto Firmino, combined with Philippe Coutinho’s development, have all helped to fill the void, but it is Salah alone who seems capable of emulating Suarez.

After 21 games across all competitions during the 2012-’13 season, Suarez had 13 goals and would go on to end with 30.

It is often forgotten given the phenomenal performances that followed, but it was this season, not 2013-’14, when he developed into one of the world’s best forwards.

Suarez came second to Gareth Bale in the running for the PFA’s Player of the Year award.

He came second again, this time to Robin van Persie, for the Golden Boot – an award he may have won if not for the Branislav Ivanovic bite.

It was, of course, his performances during this season that persuaded Arsenal to bid £40,000,001 for his services.

Suarez marked himself out as exceptional player during 2012-’13, but Salah is currently outscoring that Suarez, with four goals more after the same number of appearances.

The Egyptian is doing so in his first season at Anfield, too; 2012-’13 was Suarez’s third.

Still, Salah remains some way off matching the output of Suarez at his very best during the 2013-’14 campaign, when the Uruguayan managed an astonishing 23 goals after 21 matches.

Factor in Suarez’s 15 assists and Salah, who has set up his team-mates to score on five occasions so far, is blown out of the water.

Yet while Suarez offered invention as well as goals, Salah is not in Jurgen Klopp’s side to create for his team-mates. He plays, primarily, to score and – as long as he avoids injury – he has every chance of surpassing Suarez’s final 2013-’14 tally of 31 goals.

Even if disaster strikes against Spartak Moscow at Anfield next Wednesday and Liverpool contrive to exit the Champions League, Salah could play as many as 26 more matches this season.

It would leave him with 47 appearances – 10 more than Suarez managed in his stand-out year for a Liverpool side without European commitments.

Twenty-six more games to score 15 more goals and surpass Suarez at his best. On this form, would any of us put that past Mohamed Salah?

 

Source: Hot-shot Salah well on his way to eclipsing Suarez in goalscoring stakes

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