Jamie Carragher has compared Mo Salah’s conditioning to that of Cristiano Ronaldo, Leo Messi and James Milner’s to suggest that the Egyptian could remain a strong performer for Liverpool beyond his current contract.
The Egyptian international’s current terms are set to expire in 2023, with the club said to be hesitant to offer an improved deal for fear of destabilising the side’s wage structure.
“My counter-argument is that exceptional players warrant being treated as an exception,” the Englishman wrote for The Telegraph.
“Everything about Salah suggests that unless he suffers serious injury he is in such perfect physical shape and such a professional on and off the pitch, he will still be producing until he is 33, and probably for a couple of years beyond that.
“Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are an inspiration to their peers, showing how the early 30s are no barrier to enduring excellence.
“Even at Anfield, Liverpool have James Milner who is about to turn 36.
“Okay, Milner is not as regular a starter as he once was, nor is he the highest-paid footballer in the Premier League, but as he showed against Porto in midweek – and will be expected to do again against Manchester City on Sunday – his conditioning work over two decades means he can still perform at the highest level. There is good cause to believe Salah will do likewise at the same age.”
Having produced some remarkable numbers to start the campaign, the former Roma attacker is certainly showing little sign of slowing down as he approaches his 30s.
Though something of a jump from Messi and Ronaldo, the Milner example is a sound one – proving that it is possible to perform at the highest level even during the mid-30s.
There’s no questioning the fact that Salah takes exceptional care of his body and very much appears to fit neatly within the mould of the aforementioned players who have managed to extend their careers.
There’s a financial gamble to be made on the club’s part in terms of the 29-year-old’s performance levels beyond 2023, however, the early signs suggest it would be a pretty safe bet on our part.