Liverpool have completed the signing of Mohamed Salah for a potential £34.3million, and Jurgen Klopp has explained what he expects the forward to bring to the table.
The Reds have been chasing the Egypt international since the end of last season, and saw an initial bid of £28million rejected by Roma. Despite this, they were always encouraged that a deal could be agreed with the Serie A side, and on Thursday the forward penned a five-year contract after an initial payment of £30.8million was made, which could rise to £34.3million.
Salah, who will take the number 11 shirt from Roberto Firmino who will now wear 9, has bounced back from a disappointing spell at Chelsea to last season become one of the most influential players in the Italian league. Klopp has revealed he has monitored the 25-year-old’s progress for much of his career, whilst explaining what he expects his new signing to add to his side.
“Mohamed has the perfect mix of experience and potential – this is a really exciting signing for us,” Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com. “He knows the Premier League, he has pedigree in the (UEFA) Champions League and he is one of the most important players for his country. His record in Italy has been outstanding and he possesses qualities that will enhance our team and squad.
“I have followed him since he emerged at Basel and he has matured into a really good player. His pace is incredible, he is hungry, willing and eager to be even better and improve further. He believes in what we are trying to do here and is extremely keen to be part of it. He is an ambitious player who wants to win and win at the highest level; he knows he can fulfil those ambitions with Liverpool.”
Salah began his career in his homeland for El Mokawloon, before moving to Switzerland and FC Basle in 2012. Here, he showed his ability in the Champions League and earned an £11million move to Chelsea, but his time at Stamford Bridge was less than fruitful. After loan spells at Fiorentina and Roma, he eventually signed for the latter for £12million in August 2016.
Last season was the most productive of his career to date. Helping the Giallorossi finish runners-up to Juventus in Serie A, he scored 15 goals and assisted 13 more in 31 matches. Although he has a Premier League title and a League Cup honour from his previous time in England, his opportunities for Chelsea were limited and he made just 19 appearances in two years.
For Basle, he won two league titles, and he has registered 29 goals in 53 caps for Egypt.