It’s not just Liverpool fans who know all about the true greatness of Mo Salah – many of the defenders charged with facing him in the Premier League can also testify to what an extraordinary footballer he is.
The latest direct opponent tasked with trying to shackle him was West Ham left-back Emerson Palmieri, who was formerly a teammate of the 31-year-old at Roma.
The Italy international came out on the wrong side of a 3-1 scoreline against the Reds on Sunday, a game in which the Egyptian broke the deadlock from the penalty spot, and he spoke of just how difficult it is to come up against the legendary LFC number 11.
He told The Kelly & Wrighty Show on Optus Sport: “I know Mo very well. We played together in Roma for two or three years. I played against him a lot of times in the Premier League with Chelsea and now with West Ham. It’s not easy to play against him.
“Everyone knows his qualities, his strengths. He can score every game, every time. He’s so quick, but I try to do my best and to stop him.”
Emerson is speaking from a position of coming up against Salah in training every day during their mutual time at Roma, along with facing him with both Chelsea and West Ham in later years, so he’s better placed than most to speak about the world-class quality of the Liverpool winger.
The 29-year-old actually did quite a decent job of trying to keep Mo quiet on Sunday, winning two tackles, making three interceptions and coming out on top in four duels (Sofascore), but good still wasn’t enough to stop the Egyptian from registering a goal contribution for the 13th game in a row.
The numbers that the 31-year-old accrues for the Reds on a yearly basis are astounding, and the consistency with which he makes his mark shows why the club were steadfast in refusing to bow to a £150m offer from the Saudi Pro League (The Guardian) as the transfer deadline approached.
Emerson tried valiantly to stifle the threat that Salah brings on a weekly basis but still couldn’t prevent him from scoring at the weekend. Such is the life of Premier League left-backs tasked with facing an all-time Liverpool great.