Streller: Salah is perfect for Liverpool
Former FC Basel striker Marco Streller believes newly-transferred Egypt international Mohamed Salah is “perfect for Liverpool”.
The Reds have officially announced the signing of the 25-year-old winger from Serie A side AS Roma on Thursday after around a month of negotiations with the Giallorossi.
Streller has reflected on his time as Salah’s teammate at Basel and hailed his qualities, saying that the Egypt international managed to quickly leave his mark in Switzerland.
“I thought he was a skillful player, he was very fast. I said to him [Basel sporting director Georg Heitz] that he had something special. But it was not easy for a guy to come from Egypt in our country and perform,” Streller told ESPN.
The former FC Basel player said that despite the difficulties, Salah proved himself and continuously improved after arriving in Switzerland.
“He improved every day. As a striker, he would always get the ball and play direct to me,” Streller added. “At the beginning, he had a little problem in front of the goal — he was not a killer in front of the goal.
“Most of the time he would play on the right side with his left foot. He always searched for the central striker and he always went deep.
“As a striker and also for the players who play the ball behind the defenders, he was so important. He was always in movements, and he worked a lot for the team — not just in offence, but also in the defence.
“He was the fastest player I played with, for sure. It was amazing. He was so fast that when my pass was not always good, he would get it.”
After one and a half season in Switzerland, where he produced outstanding performances in the Champions League and Europa League, Salah moved to Chelsea in 2014 where he had a disappointing stint in the Premier League.
Afterward, he moved to Serie A side Fiorentina on a six-month loan then spent one season on loan at Roma, before making the move to the Giallorossi permanent in the summer of 2016.
Streller added that Salah can thrive when his team dominate the ball and believes that the former Chelsea winger is a perfect fit for Liverpool.
“In our home league [Switzerland], we [Basel] have lots of ball possession,” he said. “In ball possession, he’s a really good football player — he’s not just fast. For the football of Klopp — high pressing, get the ball back and then get the ball deep — he is perfect.
“The football of Jurgen Klopp is exactly for him.
“He’s always in movement, so it’s difficult to control him, even if a team is a little bit deeper. Also, in Italy, they have a lot of players in defence and he [still] scored a lot of goals.”
During his two seasons at Roma, Salah scored 29 goals in 65 Serie A appearances and became one of their key players.
“I’m not surprised that he plays for Liverpool because I know they were still in contact before he went to Chelsea. It’s not a new player, and they’ve watched him in the last three years. I guess it’s the right decision for Liverpool,” he concluded.
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