Former Liverpool left-back José Enrique believes Egyptian star Mohamed Salah has turned into a different player and has fallen ‘terribly’ since he extended his contract with the Reds last July.
Enrique’s statement came after Liverpool’s humiliating 2-5 defeat to Real Madrid in the first leg of the Champions League final.
The Spanish defender, who played from 2011 to 2016 for Liverpool, said in statements released by talksport that Salah has been in the shell since February 2022, especially after Egypt lost to Senegal in the Africa Cup of Nations final.
And he continued: “He has completely stopped, and it’s not only about him, but even (his teammates) Virgil Van Dyke and Trent Alexander-Arnold are seeing a terrible drop in level, and coach Klopp is bearing the part as Sadio Mane cannot leave and replace his”. Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakbo may need time to adapt, but neither of them can replace Mane.
Enrique returned to Salah’s conversation, saying: “Salah was good against Real Madrid (where he scored the first goal and scored the second), but I don’t know what’s going on with him since losing the African Cup a year ago. He extended his contract with the club and received one of the highest salaries in the English Premier League. But he has become a different person, and now the club must consider signing a new player who will compete with Salah and take his place.
Enrique also said: “Salah has been bad all season, it’s true.”
Salah extended his contract with Liverpool in the summer of 2022 for a period of three years.
At the time, it was reported in the media that the Egyptian star would be earning a weekly salary of £400,000, making Salah one of the highest paid players in the English Premier League.
Salah Enrique’s criticism notwithstanding, the Egyptian star is Liverpool’s best bad boy this season as he tops the Reds’ top scorer list with 19 goals in all competitions.
With a goal against Real Madrid, Salah became Liverpool’s historic European goalscorer with 42 goals in 66 games, surpassing the legendary Steven Gerrard who scored 41 goals in 129 games.
Salah also became the player who scored the most in the European Championship at Anfield with 19 goals.