Micheal Owen: I think Salah is at Liverpool for the long-term
Mohamed Salah and his teammates will be aiming to clinch the UEFA Champions League title when they face 12-time winners Real Madrid in the final game in Kiev, with the 25-year-old winger hoping to become the only second Arab to lift the title after Algeria’s Rabah Madjer.
Liverpool have reached their first Champions League final in 11 years, thanks to Mohamed Salah’s 11 goals in the competition.
“He’s just had a quite brilliant season, an amazing season,” Owen said. “He’s obviously been an outstanding signing. Even though he cost £37m, you would still say he has been one of the best pieces of business of all time.”
The Egyptian king has been lately linked to Spanish giants Real Madrid after underwhelming performances from Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale.
“You could add £100m plus onto his value. He’s just been a staggering return on investment,” he added.
Owen left his boyhood club, where he scored 158 goals in 297 games, to play at the Santiago Bernabeu in 2004, yet he does not see Salah following his footsteps and thinks the Egyptian star will remain with the Reds which will help him achieve even more success in the next seasons.
“The best thing about it is – in my humble opinion – is that he is at his end game as well,” he explained. “He is not a Luis Suarez that has got that Latin influence where they are drawn towards Barcelona and Real Madrid – the head-turning clubs.”
Salah’s incredible form helped him finish the season as the English Premier League top goalscorer with record 32 goals and was named the league’s Player of the Year. He also finished the season with the most goals in the Premier League era, bettering the previous record of 31 goals held jointly by Cristiano Ronaldo (2007-08) and Luis Suarez (2013-14).
“Where he is from, where he has grown up, I think Liverpool was his ideal destination when he was in Italy and I think he actually adores the club and he is there to stay. There is no point looking at figures or anything else, I think he is at Liverpool for the long-term.”
Owen, a former Ballon d’Or winner, confessed that if Salah gets to compete with Ronaldo for the award he will favor the Egyptian winger to win because of his exceptional form this season. However, he thinks Salah needs to maintain the level he reached in order to become a legendary player.
“If he was playing for an ordinary team, he’d be a great already but for Liverpool and you compare him with the likes of Dalglish, Rush and great players beyond and in recent times, the likes of Suarez and I suppose you have got to do it for a little bit longer,” he said.
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