‘This isn’t Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang or Mesut Ozil revisited’ – James Pearce dismisses the idea that Mo Salah has ‘eased off’ since signing new deal

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James Pearce has dismissed claims that Mo Salah’s recent downturn in form is a result of him signing a new bumper contract with Liverpool.

The Egyptian King was set to enter the final 12 months of his Reds deal earlier this summer and there was anxiety surrounding the situation for many involved with the club, especially with the exit of Sadio Mane to Bayern Munich, but the former AS Roma man instead signed a new long-term contract.

Our No. 11 was kept quiet once again during the Merseyside derby and has just two goals and two assists to his name so far this season.

“For most of a chaotic derby, which somehow finished goalless, Salah remained stationed out on the right and largely on the periphery,” Pearce wrote whilst analysing Salah’s start to the season for The Athletic. “This wasn’t a one-off. It’s been a theme running through the opening month of the season.

“That’s not a criticism of Salah and the idea that the 30-year-old has somehow eased off on the back of a bumper pay rise is ridiculous. This isn’t Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang or Mesut Ozil revisited.

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“It’s more that Liverpool, who have taken just nine points out of a possible 18, simply aren’t functioning effectively as a unit. The balance isn’t right and tactically, they are failing to get the best out of their most potent attacking weapon.”

Pearce is right to point out that Salah has been on the ‘periphery’

Jurgen Klopp has dismissed claims that the Egypt international is now operating from a wider position but it’s clear for all to see that he hasn’t had much of an impact from his usual central position so far this term.

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It’s not just Salah that has struggled to really get going so far this season, however, it’s Klopp’s side as a whole.

The 30-year-old has so often grabbed games by the scruff of the neck but the spark doesn’t seem to be quite there at the moment.

We’re not concerned and don’t for one minute think that Mo has ‘eased off’ as a result of his new contract but we do need him to start firing again soon.

We have just two victories from our first six games and at the moment look like we’ll be battling for a top four place rather than the Premier League title.

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