Salah backed to stay at Liverpool by ex-Red Pennant
Mohamed Salah is very rarely outshone when it comes to delivering for his club and Jurgen Klopp, but the Liverpool star has been overlooked in the battle to be named the club’s best-ever player. The Egyptian winger has been synonymous with the club since his big-money move from AS Roma in 2017 and is serenaded with songs from the Kop about their ‘Egyptian King’. But Salah may be surprised to find that he is not even close to being the king of Anfield, at least in the eye of artificial intelligence.
Klopp has overseen the signings of 37 players since becoming Liverpool manager in October 2015, with Serbian midfielder Marko Grujic the first player to arrive under the German. Few would argue, however, against Salah being the most effective and crucial player to be brought in by Klopp eight years ago.
The 31-year-old has scored 196 goals and recorded 83 assists in 319 games for the club, as well as breaking the record for most goals in a Premier League season before Erling Haaland smashed the record last term.
That goal tally puts Salah fifth on the club’s all-time top scorers’ list. But according to popular AI tool ChatGPT, that feat is only enough to put the tricky winger at third on their all-time list of greatest signings.
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ChatGPT do praise the forward for his goalscoring prowess, describing Salah as a “goal-scoring machine and one of the most prolific wingers in the Premier League.” But apparently, scoring goals at a better rate than one in every two games is enough to beat some of his team-mates.
Andy Robertson is another player to have been snubbed from the top five, while Trent Alexander-Arnold was nowhere to be found. That is despite the fact the two full-backs have 112 assists in the Premier League between them.
Along with Salah, Sadio Mane was given high praise but still only ranked fourth behind his fellow African icon: “Mane is a versatile and dynamic forward who has consistently delivered goals and assists for Liverpool. He’s been a key part of Liverpool’s attacking trio,” the computer programme said.
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So, if it wasn’t Robertson, Mane or Salah, who would come next? The obvious answer was Alisson Becker, whose arrival in 2018 coincided with Liverpool winning the Champions League and Premier League in the next two seasons. The Brazilian stopper was a huge upgrade on Loris Karius and, even if he was an expensive signing at £68m, it has proved to be money well spent.
But not even Alisson can boast to have the same impact as Virgil van Dijk, who narrowly missed out on the Ballon d’Or in 2019 to Lionel Messi. The Dutchman is widely regarded as the best defender to grace the Premier League since the likes of Rio Ferdinand and John Terry, taking another step towards greatness after his £75m switch to Anfield.
Again, it is difficult to argue against Van Dijk’s placement. Liverpool have never had trouble scoring goals like Salah, but their defensive reaguard action led by the centre-back was pivotal to their first domestic title in 30 years back in 2019-20.
As ChatGPT concludes: “Van Dijk has been a transformational presence in Liverpool’s defence, helping the team win the Premier League and the UEFA Champions League. His commanding presence and defensive prowess have been instrumental.”
Now we’ve heard from AI, what would Klopp make of the top five ranking?
ChatGPT’s top five signings under Jurgen Klopp:
1. Virgil van Dijk
2. Alisson Becker
3. Mohamed Salah
4. Sadio Mane
5. Andy Robertson
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