Mohammad Salah’s current Premier League form has been affected by Egypt’s poor World Cup but he will get over it, says Pharaohs legend Mido.
The Liverpool striker has scored just three goals in 11 appearances so far this season, in stark contrast to the 44 he scored in 52 matches last term, where he broke the record for most Premier League goals in a 38-game season with 32.
In between both campaigns, Salah injured his shoulder in Liverpool’s Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid and ended up playing only a bit part in this summer’s World Cup, where Egypt crashed out in the group stage.
“He’s been a bit unlucky with his injury before the World Cup and it affected him a little bit,” said Mido at the launch of the du Football Champions season at Gitex on Wednesday.
“He’s an emotional boy. He got affected by what happened during the World Cup that Egypt couldn’t make it through, that he couldn’t help the team.
“He had an exceptional season last season and now people are asking him to do the same, which is impossible. Only Messi and Ronaldo can score 45 goals every year.
“We all know the second season is always difficult. But if he ends up scoring 25-plus goals, he’s still had a great season. So I’m sure he will get over this period, I’m sure he will get back to his top form very quick,” added the former Tottenham Hotspur forward.
“He just needs to do as he’s doing now, just keep his head down and keep working hard every day and the good things will come, as it came last season. The only way to make it in football is to keep your head down and work hard. And he knows that. I’m sure he will get over this.”
Asked if it was a case of too pressure on Salah, Mido replied: “I don’t think Salah gets affected by pressure. He’s a big boy now. He knows how to deal with the pressure. You see the penalty he scored in the last minute to get Egypt to the World Cup after 28 years, you could easily see that he’s a guy that doesn’t mind pressure. Sometimes in football, pressure helps you.”
Mido also ruled out Salah’s ongoing rift with the Egyptian Football Association over image rights as being a reason for his slump in form.
“His agent has been dealing with the issue, his lawyer, and Salah has been focused on his work and what he has to do to get to his best again. People might think he is affected by the problem, but he’s 100 per cent focused on his football.”
Fellow former Egypt attacker Hazem Emam, who played for Udinese, was also at the launch and said of Salah: “I do not think he is in trouble, or in crisis. It is normal in football — you can score and you can have some bad luck. The defences and coaches know him better, know how he plays. The space will not be like it was before, but he can solve the problems. He will score, but not like the Salah of last season.”
Season four of the du Football Champions, a nationwide youth football development programme supported by La Liga, kicks off November 10 with expanded age groups and increased scouting networks for girls and boys aged 9-17-years-old. The best players get selected for the du La Liga High Performance Centre team that tours Spain at the end of the season, many of whom have been offered trials and contracts with pro clubs over the past three seasons.
By Ashley Hammond
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