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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 13 December 2018

Mohamed Salah adds more pace and potency to Liverpool's fearsome attack

Egyptian forward's arrival suggests manager Jurgen Klopp has decided attack is the best form of defence.

Mohamed Salah, centre, has impressed for Liverpool in pre-season since joining the club from Roma. Kin Cheung / AP Photo
Mohamed Salah, centre, has impressed for Liverpool in pre-season since joining the club from Roma. Kin Cheung / AP Photo

"I like heavy metal," Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp once said. It was in reference to the style of football he likes his teams to play - fast, ferocious, intense.

A high-pressing game and a fluid, striker-less front-three packed with pace transformed Liverpool into Premier League title contenders last season, until an alarming dip in form at the start of 2017 - coinciding with Sadio Mane's departure to the Africa Cup of Nations and Philippe Coutinho's injury absence - saw the Merseysiders struggle to stay the course.

Defensive frailties and a less-than-convincing presence in goal also contributed, and it was in these areas that Klopp was expected to strengthen this summer. Instead, the German has decided that attack is the best form of defence, opting instead to recruit more pace and potency in the shape of Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah.

Reading too much into pre-season form is a futile exercise, but Salah's start to life at Liverpool has at least been encouraging, scoring for fun all around the world. His teammates have been impressed by how quickly he has adapted to the team and how well he has integrated into the squad away from the pitch. His link-up with Coutinho for his goal against Leicester City, in particular, is sure to have Liverpool fans buzzing with excitement.

Indeed, Liverpool supporters have every reason to be excited at the prospect of Salah producing the goods for their club.

First coming to the attention of European football fans during two eye-catching seasons in Switzerland with Basel, Salah had his first stab at the Premier League with Chelsea in 2014.

Rarely given a chance to prove himself in London, Salah, 25, enjoyed successful loan spells in Italy, first with Fiorentina then Roma, being named Player of the Season for the club from the Italian capital before a permanent switch last summer. He once again thrived in Rome last season, scoring 15 goals and creating 11 assists in Serie A.

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"What did you not see in him?" Klopp posed to Chelsea, suggesting Liverpool's rivals made a mistake in letting the Egyptian leave.

With an ability to glide past defenders, dribble at frightening speed and score with both feet, Salah seems a ready-made fit for Klopp's side. With Senegalese forward Mane terrorising one flank, Salah on the other, Roberto Firmino occupying the now fashionable false No 9 position, and Coutinho breaking forward from midfield, Liverpool boast an attacking quartet to rival any of their title rivals.

Deficiencies elsewhere in the team may well see Liverpool fall short of the title again, but with the addition of Salah, they shouldn't have any problems scoring goals.

Also read: Mane sees 'no problem' with Salah slotting in to Liverpool's attack