Football

Joe Cole: Mo Salah so direct, gets to players like Leo Messi

Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring at Norwich; he also made two assists in Liverpool’s 3-0 win. Photograph- Xinhua-Shutterstock

Ex-Chelsea star Joe Cole has compared Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah to celebrated PSG attacker Lionel Messi.

The 29-year-old has been phenomenal for the Reds since joining the club in 2017 and is close to reaching 100 Premier League strikes.

He has so far managed 96 for the Merseyside-based charges, which takes his tally to 98 after finding the back of the net twice during his unsuccessful and brief stint with the Blues

“He is unbelievable. It did not work at Chelsea but he has come back and become a fantastic player,” Cole told BT Sport as quoted by Mirror.

“Do you know what I love about him? He is so direct, he gets at players, no one is like Messi but there is an element to his game, his left foot. So well balanced. Wonderful player.”

Former Liverpool striker Peter Crouch lauded the Egyptian for his ruthlessness in front of the goal and his conversion rate which puts him on par with Arsenal legend Thierry Henry.

“It is an unbelievable record, [how] he has turned from a winger to become a ruthless goal-scoring machine has been unbelievable,” Crouch was quotes as saying by the same publication.

“A true Liverpool great. To get 100 goals in the same space of time as Henry; they are the types of players we are talking about with Mo Salah.”

Crouch has further played down a notion that at times, Salah intentionally denied Sadio Mane a chance to score by selfishly denying him the ball last season.

“He has had a bit of stick at times and Mane has been unhappy with how he has been selfish at times,” the ex-England striker continued.

“But when you’ve got someone like that in your team you’re always in with a chance. He’s up there with the top players for sure.”

Liverpool defeated Burnley 2-0 on Saturday to make it two wins in a row to move top of the table, pending the outcome of other matches.

The hosts scored their first goal in the 18th minute when Diogo Jota converted a Konstantinos Tsimikas pass. Salah thought he had doubled the advantage 10 minutes later, but after a VAR review, his goal was cancelled for offside.

But the former champions were not to be denied in the 69th minute when Mane was there to score from a Trent Alexander-Arnold pass to seal the win.

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