With every passing day, Liverpool are teetering towards a dangerous precipice — one where they will sooner or later won’t be able to stop themselves from plummeting into the abyss.
Mohamed Salah’s contract situation has been an anxiety-inducing stand-off for anyone associated with Liverpool Football Club. Already, the Reds have said their farewell to Salah’s counterpart on the left wing in Sadio Mané and unless things change, there are genuine trepidations Salah could follow suit next summer upon the expiry of his contract.
That is a scenario no one wants to see happen at Anfield, especially considering Salah will be able to choose his next destination freely — that could see him joining a direct Premier League rival.
But at the end of the day, it will not be all doom and gloom for Liverpool. Salah will go down in history as one of the best players to have worn the red jersey, but he is far from indispensable. The club’s history has proven time and time again that heroes can be replaced.
When Fernando Torres left for Chelsea, Luis Suárez filled the void. When Kevin Keegan left all the way back in the 1970s, Kenny Dalglish came and took his throne. Replacing Salah will be tough but it is not unprecedented, and if anyone can do it, it will be the current Liverpool leadership.
With Julian Ward at the helm, Liverpool have seemingly got a competent sporting director who is exactly in the mould of his predecessor, Michael Edwards. Ward’s scouting team will be prepared for the eventuality of Salah’s departure and they will have the right targets lined up in order to replace the Egyptian star, should he decide to not extend his current deal with the club.
At the same time, Jürgen Klopp’s cannot go unnoticed either. At Borussia Dortmund, Klopp had plenty of experience replacing his talismans with fresh blood and he excelled in those situations. When Shinji Kagawa left, Marco Reus came in to replace him, Mario Götze was replaced by Henrikh Mkhitaryan and when Robert Lewandowski departed, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang stepped up and filled the void.
Klopp has a knack for bringing the best out of his players and that will continue at Liverpool in the long-term future now that the club have retained his services until 2026.
From a sentimental perspective, Salah’s departure will be hard to swallow if it happens next summer, but Liverpool will be prepared and Ward and Klopp will have an exciting replacement lined up just like they had this summer upon the departure of Mané in Darwin Núñez. This is why FSG have no cause for concern and why they are happy to stick to their principles on the negotiation table with Salah.