It’s no secret Mo Salah has been the prime catalyst this season for Liverpool. Since his £37 million signing last summer, his energy has helped ignite massive change and success for the team, breaking Fernando Torres’ record for scoring the most goals in an introductory season. He’s also on his way to breaking other goalscoring records, not just for Liverpool, but the league as well. So his being on the shortlist for PFA Player of the Year among names like David De Gea, Leroy Sane, David Silva, Harry Kane, and Kevin De Bruyne, was no surprise.
In the days leading up to the award ceremony, many speculated that it was between Salah and De Bruyne. But while both have been invaluable to their respective teams, Salah stands out with consistent performances and vital contributions, delivering effortless looking finishes at all the right moments, especially in those games against De Bruyne’s Manchester City in the Champions League. De Bruyne is unquestionably an outstanding player but has suffered a lack of goals since January, a drought that ended this weekend against Swansea.
|Mohamed Salah 2017-18 Premier League season
|Shots on target: 64
|Minutes played: 2,657
|Chances created: 57
|Passes completed: 684
While Salah has been one of the biggest reasons for Liverpool’s rise this season, one could argue that even though he’s played a large role in the team, Manchester City could have found their way to the Premier League title without the help of Kevin De Bruyne. It isn’t just about goals, but Salah’s value to the team and crucial part of their success are probably the biggest part of his win. It also helps that he’s got an unmistakable charm. In addition to his contributions on the field, Mo Salah has established himself as a central force in the heart of the team.
Off the pitch, Salah is beloved by the other players as evidenced by their continuous shout outs and praises on social media of the Egyptian winger. With the BBC Sports poll for Player of Year giving Salah an astonishing 76% of the vote, the general public seems pretty taken with him as well.
After being runner-up in the Egyptian presidential elections, congrats with the @the_pfa Premier League Player of the Year, @mosalah22 👏🏼 🇪🇬 It’s an honour to play with such a talented player and to know such a good person. #PFAawards #POTY #LFC #YNWA
He also has a famous bromance with Dejan Lovren, someone who has notoriously struggled on the other end of the pitch, but whose form has greatly improved in the last few months. The two often share back and forth snapchats and playful taunts.
After Harry Kane recently claimed a goal originally awarded to Spurs teammate Christian Eriksen, and won the appeal, the entire football community and Mo Salah’s teammates have taken to social media to make jokes at Kane’s expense–calling him out for basically stealing a goal from a teammate to stay in the race for the Golden Boot, a race which Salah is winning with 31 goals, 5 ahead of Kane.
— Loris Karius (@LorisKarius) April 14, 2018
In a post-game interview, Captain Jordan Henderson even poked fun at the situation.
Interviewer: We have to talk about Mo Salah. That’s his 30th Premier League goal of the season and his 40th of the entire season. I mean, he’s breaking records all the way.
Team shenanigans aside, the Mo Salah Effect is undeniable. On and off the pitch, the team rally around him and produce football that is exciting to watch. Their current form is due to any number of factors, the biggest is that they find their best successes when they work as a team. And Mo Salah knows that. Who was his plus one to the award ceremony? His captain.
The team’s social media posts emphasize the unity of the squad, and even though Salah has won more than a dozen personal awards this season, his focus still remains on the team. “My personal ambition is to win something with the team,” Salah is quoted as saying after the award ceremony on Sunday. “I always think about the team, I don’t think about myself.”
His other awards and achievements this season include:
🏆African Player of The Year 🏆Arab Player of The Year
🌍Qualified for World Cup ⚽Premier League Top Scorer
x5 Liverpool Player of The Month x4 PFA Player of The Month
x3 PL Player of The Month x3 UCL Player of The Month
Mo Salah joins the ranks of other Liverpool greats Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard, John Barnes, Ian Rush, Kenny Dalglish, and Terry McDermott to win the PFA Player of the year award. He also joins Riyad Mahrez as the only other African player to win the award.
Here’s hoping that the best is yet to come.