Everton’s Lucas Digne has welcomed the challenge of taking on Mohamed Salah in Sunday’s Merseyside derby.
The left-back is set to come face to face with the Egyptian as the Toffees look for their first win at Anfield since 1990 and their first derby victory since 2010.
Salah enters the contest with nine goals and three assists to his name amid a season in which his form has often been questioned in light of the high standards set in his extraordinary 44-goal 2017/18 campaign.
Last season’s PFA Player of the Year may not have quite produced the same explosiveness, but he has remained an ever-present goal threat over Liverpool’s unbeaten start to the Premier League.
Digne has greeted the duel as a valuable opportunity to test himself against one of Europe’s deadliest forwards.
He told reporters: “I know Mohamed Salah because I played one year with him in Rome,” per Goal.
“He’s a very good guy and a very good player, but you play football to play against the big players, against Messi, against Neymar.”
“I play football to play against the biggest players in the world and I came to England to play against the best strikers because, for me, the best football is in the Premier League.”
Salah endured a tough night in the Champions League on Wednesday as he was afforded little room to manoeuvre in the defeat to Paris Saint-Germain.
The Reds as an attacking unit will feel they are still someway off their best when it comes to posing the same counterattacking threat that saw them steam roll teams last season. That’s admittedly down to not only a lack of conviction in the final third but also a greater impetus on defensive stability.
Once more it’s worth being encouraged by the prospect of there being plenty more to come from Salah and his fellow frontmen this season.