Mohamed Salah remains a class act in the eyes of Liverpool legend Kevin Keegan, with the Egyptian being backed to secure a similar standing to Kenny Dalglish at Anfield.
A stunning debut campaign on Merseyside for the 26-year-old forward delivered 44 goals across all competitions.
Those efforts landed Salah the Premier League’s Golden Boot, the PFA Player of the Year award and a nomination for the FIFA Best prize.
He has been back on target this season, but is still waiting on a first trophy with Liverpool as the Reds seek to end a barren run on the silverware front which stretches back to 2012.
Keegan believes Salah will become an iconic figure if he is able to snap that sequence, with there every reason to believe that he can one day stand alongside the likes of Dalglish.
The former Reds star told talkSPORT: “The only way you can get to that stage, if you like, is you have got to win things.
“You can’t get to be like Kenny, who came after me and replaced me – I think they saved about 50 grand in the transfer deal. Kenny was a bit cheaper than me amazingly.
“But Kenny is remembered there for the teams he played in and obviously for the other things he done at the club.
“But you can’t become really in the fabric of the club unless your team is successful. You’ve got to put honours like European cups or league titles in there as well.
“And yes I think he can, is the answer to your question because Liverpool are in with a chance of winning the league this year.”
Salah’s exploits last season have seen expectations rise around him, with his form having faced questions this term after netting just three times in 10 appearances.
Keegan feels any criticism of a talismanic presence is overly harsh, with there no doubt that a proven performer will deliver over the course of an entire campaign.
He added: “This guy deserves to be given a bit of a run in the first team.
“I mean, he didn’t single-handedly get them up there last year but he was the main reason – make no mistake about that.
“[Sadio] Mane, the other players, [Philippe] Coutinho when he was there, they played parts don’t get me wrong. But Salah was the one who made the difference.
“So you’ve got to be patient with players like that, make sure you keep them on board. If you start to leave him out, that will not make him play any better.
“I think they have got to just play him through it and he deserves that right. I wouldn’t leave him out, ever.
“You know it is only a matter of time – form is temporary, class is permanent and he is definitely a class player.”
By Chris Burton
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