‘Salah has become a ruthless goal machine’ – Liverpool star looks ‘unplayable’ this season, says Crouch

The former Anfield favourite thinks the “incredible” Egyptian has “gone up another level” at the start of the 2020-21 campaign

Mohamed Salah has become a “ruthless goal machine”, according to Peter Crouch, who says the Liverpool star looks “unplayable” this season.

Salah has been in red-hot form for the Reds at the beginning of their Premier League title defence, scoring six goals in as many appearances to help Jurgen Klopp’s men rise to second in the table. Liverpool are only behind leaders Everton on goal difference, and have also made a strong start to their latest Champions League campaign.

A 1-0 win at Ajax on matchday one was followed up by a 2-0 home victory over FC Midtjylland on Tuesday, with Salah sealing the result with a stoppage-time penalty after Diogo Jota’s opener.

That result means the Reds are now leading Group D by two points ahead of second-placed Atalanta, and some experts are already backing them to go all the way in the competition again after winning their sixth continental crown in 2019.

Salah’s continued presence will be crucial to Liverpool’s chances of success on domestic and European fronts, with Crouch in awe of how deadly the Egyptian has been in the final third over the past couple of months.

“Salah’s goal record is ridiculous and I feel like he’s started the season so sharp. In all his play he just looks unplayable at times. He just looks so on it,” the ex-Anfield striker told The Mirror. “From the moment we kicked off the season you just saw how sharp he was, his passing his movement, it’s just all gone up another level. He’s incredible.

“We clipped up some of his stuff at BT the other day and I was looking at it, and some of the passes he’s making this year, cutting inside, taking two or three players out of the game, setting up attacks…

“Early on when he came and he got his 44 goals [in the 2017/18 season] he was shooting from everywhere, and you felt that the pass was the last resort, but now he’s coming inside and looking for people.

“Don’t get me wrong I still think he’s selfish, because he’s got a right to be, but the way he plays those passes – I don’t mind that at all in players. Everyone needs a selfish, ruthless goalscorer. Amazingly that’s what he’s turned out to be.

“He’s gone from being a winger to a ruthless goal machine, and with the potential to set up chances as well. He’s a complete player.”

Crouch also reserved praise for £45 million ($58m) summer signing Jota, who he believes is capable of forcing his way into Liverpool’s front three ahead of Roberto Firmino if he can build on a bright start to his Anfield career.

“You saw it in the Ajax game when [Xherdan] Shaqiri, [Takumi] Minamimo and Jota all came on, I just think it proved that there’s going to be chances for all of them,” the former Reds striker added.

“They’ve got so many games, and think losing Virgil van Dijk is going to make the manager more nervous at the thought of losing a [Sadio] Mane or a Salah, the key, important players.

“Jota’s a class player. He’s so hard-working and he wants to press which they love doing from the front.

“Those front three have been so good in recent years, but there’s always a clamour for them to be better. I think Jota is a great adage to that, and he’s come in and put pressure on a few.

“I’ve heard from quite a few Liverpool fans that maybe Mane could go through the middle and perhaps have Jota on the left and Salah on the right, with Minamino pressuring Firmino for a place in the team. That’s another option for them, and I think we’ll see something like that quite a bit this season.”

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