Liverpool unveiled Salah on this day in 2017 after signing him from Italian Serie A club AS Roma for £36.9 million – a club-record transfer free at the time. This was after their initial attempts to sign him four years earlier from FC Basel.
The Egyptian went to Chelsea instead, and we all know how that move panned out for both the club and the winger. After two years on the books at Stamford Bridge and two loan stints in Serie A with Fiorentina, then Roma, the Giallorossi signed him for €15 million from Chelsea and despite injuries and his role as a squad player in his first season, Salah went on to score 19 goals in all competitions for the club.
Liverpool wasted no time in contacting his agents once again who, after coming to an agreement on personal terms with the forward, took the negotiation to Roma, who were happy to receive more than double what they paid Basel just a year ago.
Salah went on to break the goalscoring record in a single 38-game Premier League season in his debut year at Liverpool by scoring 32 goals in 36 games. He has since scored 156 total goals for the club in 254 appearances, winning seven titles in the five years he has spent at the club.
However, many Liverpool fans will be surprised to know that Salah was not the club’s first choice for the right-wing role that season.
After Salah’s move to Anfield in 2017, an article in British tabloid The Times, detailing the transfer, read: “Liverpool scouted about 15 wide players between missing out on Salah and signing him. Klopp has conceded that it was Dave Fallows, head of scouting and recruitment, Barry Hunter, the chief scout, and Michael Edwards, the sporting director, whose background checks extended to spying missions at training camps as well as matches, who constantly pushed his case.
“[He joined] only after Liverpool had looked at other targets. Borussia Dortmund refused to let Christian Pulisic leave, Julian Draxler was pursued last January, opting to move instead to Paris Saint-Germain from Wolfsburg, and Julian Brandt chose to stay at Bayer Leverkusen fearing that he would not play regularly at Anfield.”
At his unveiling, Salah promised to do his part to help the club “win something”. He has fulfilled that promise while also cementing his name in the Liverpool books as one of their modern-day legends. However, his time looks to be coming to an end as his contract situation continues to play out in a way that could see the Reds lose one of their most important players in the past five years.
Fans will be hoping that the club can come to an arrangement with Salah and that he can spend more years giving them joy with his skills, tricks, and most importantly, title-winning goals.