herald

Thursday 24 May 2018

Salah kops top award

Pool ace pips De Bruyne for Player of the Year

GOAL STANDARD: Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah celebrates opening the scoring in the 2-2 draw at West Brom on Saturday. Photo: PA
GOAL STANDARD: Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah celebrates opening the scoring in the 2-2 draw at West Brom on Saturday. Photo: PA

Mohamed Salah has been crowned the PFA Player of the Year after an explosive first season at Liverpool.

Few could have foreseen the Egyptian magician's impact after he swapped Roma for Anfield last summer in a £34.3million deal.

It has certainly proven money well spent and Salah's exceptional performances have brought recognition from his peers in his first season back in English football.

The 25-year-old was named Player of the Year at the 45th PFA Awards at Grosvenor House in central London yesterday evening, having seen off tough competition from Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne.

The pair have been the standout players of a memorable campaign, with the Belgium international playing an integral role as Pep Guardiola's swashbuckling side won the Premier League in style.

Leroy Sane - crowned PFA Young Player of the Year on Sunday - and David Silva were the other City players on the six-man shortlist, with outstanding Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea and free-scoring Tottenham striker Harry Kane completing the nominees.

But it is Salah that has come out on top after one of the greatest debut campaigns in Liverpool's history.

Luis Suarez was the last Reds player to win the award in 2014 and he too could do the double by winning the Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year award.

The voting for that accolade is still open and the victor is named on May 1 - the day before the second leg of Liverpool's Champions League semi-final against Salah's former club Roma.

Impact

A telling impact in tomorrow's first leg at Anfield may see him tip the scales and wrap up another award as a season to cherish comes to a close.

Salah's performances have captivated and enthralled Liverpool fans this term - and left Chelsea ruing what could have been,

The west Londoners signed the callow attacker from Swiss giants Basel after impressing Europe with his skill and speed.

But things did not work out for the Egypt international at Stamford Bridge, leading to loan spells at Fiorentina and then fellow Serie A giants Roma.

Salah's move to the Italian capital was made permanent in 2016 and the following year he headed to Anfield, where he has plundered a remarkable 41 goals in just 46 appearances in all competitions.

Such is the forward's impact that he became the first player in Premier League history to claim Player of the Month awards three times in the same season after winning it for November, February and March.

Salah is a shoo-in for Liverpool's end-of-season accolades and the man nicknamed 'The Egyptian King' looks set to reign at Anfield for a long time to come.

Last year's Confederation of African Football Player of the Year is the only Liverpool player in the PFA Team of the Year, which is dominated by title winners City.

Kyle Walker, Nicolas Otamendi and Sergio Aguero join Silva and De Bruyne in the line-up.

Kane, Jan Vertonghen and Christian Eriksen are the Spurs contingent in the side, which is completed by De Gea and Chelsea full-back Marcos Alonso.

Promoted articles

Entertainment News