Shaun Wright-Phillips believes that Mo Salah has ‘changed’ his game at Liverpool since the departure of former teammate Bobby Firmino over the summer.
The Egyptian is now the only member of the famed front three of the Reds’ 2019/20 Premier League-winning season still at the club, with the Brazilian and Sadio Mane now both playing in Saudi Arabia.
The former Chelsea and England winger was speaking on The Kelly & Wrighty Show on Optus Sport when he voiced his belief that the 31-year-old has become less ‘greedy’ since his former attacking partners left Anfield.
Wright-Phillips said of Salah: “That’s where he’s changed a little bit. You go back a few years when Mane and Bobby were there. Everyone used to say he was more greedier. He felt like he could be because Bobby was a creator and Mane did the same as well.
“Now that they’re gone, he’s realised that, ‘right, it’s not just about me now, I have to provide for my teammates’. He’s doing that and scoring goals. I don’t think you can ask for much more from him.”
Firmino played the role of the selfless false 9 to perfection at Liverpool, working tirelessly off the ball to create the openings for Salah and Mane to strike, but it’s not as if the Egyptian routinely eschewed putting in the effort himself to tee up his teammates to score.
We all know about his scarcely believable goal tallies, but the 31-year-old has also hit double digits for assists in all but one of his six Premier League seasons at Anfield (Transfermarkt).
He’s well on his way to doing just that yet again this term, setting up four goals already in addition to the three he’s scored (Transfermarkt), an incredible reliability which has seen him register at least one goal contribution in 13 successive games for the Reds in all competitions.
Salah has faced accusations of selfishness in the past, but any elite forward is consumed by the desire to try and score with every opportunity they get, and the figures are there to show that he’s no mere lounger in the penalty box who waits for teammates to do the hard graft to set him up.
Whatever the Egyptian is doing, and however different it might appear to be from when he had Firmino and Mane alongside him, it’s clearly working wonders considering his current hot streak.