Mo Salah in Formula One: Here’s why he’s the most under-appreciated star in English soccer

Here’s some startling stat about Egyptian superstar Mo Salah: In his first two full seasons in England, the 25-year-old has scored 76 goals in 157 appearances for Liverpool and Egypt, and somehow sits 34 goals short of Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record. The Dutch striker scored 86 goals in 122 games for Manchester United in 2003-04 and 2004-05, a record that Salah now has a legitimate shot of breaking. Liverpool sits atop the Premier League, and Salah looks like a player of rare skill.

His rapid ascent comes on the back of a brilliant season of his own, one in which he netted an unprecedented 42 goals for his respective club in the 2016-17 campaign. It’s worth noting that although Liverpool finished 20 points behind Manchester City in the league that season, Salah was largely to blame for many of their woes. He missed six of the team’s games, and was even sent off for a wild celebration.

Salah has been similarly electric so far this season, scoring seven times in nine games. His past two games have resulted in hat tricks that appear to have lifted the spirits of a player who has never been a fan favorite in England.

There have been some high-profile players who have narrowly missed out on the “most under-appreciated” title. Both Chelsea players Salah overtook, Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard, are also currently striking it rich, though neither is a club hero in the same way as Salah.

Perhaps best of all is the contribution of Tottenham forward Harry Kane, who is only two goals behind Salah’s totals. The 24-year-old scored 44 goals last season but has taken a step back so far this season, netting just seven times in nine games. Yet it’s difficult to read much into his dip in form, as he remains one of the best forwards in the world.

Liverpool will go up against Arsenal on Wednesday night, and Salah will need to remain hot. The team’s primary rivals are probably Arsenal and Manchester City, but it might be worth taking the no-brainer bet.

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