Slot Could Revive Salah by Unleashing Liverpool’s “Generational Talent” in New Role

Liverpool are set to face Aston Villa, followed by hosting Wolverhampton Wanderers in the final match of the Premier League season. Afterward, Jurgen Klopp will bid farewell to Anfield, showering the stands with one last barrage of fist bumps.

As Klopp departs Merseyside, a mixture of emotions will fill the air, with both celebration and sadness marking the occasion. Liverpool will reflect on their remarkable journey, which has witnessed triumphs across various fronts, including the Premier League and the Champions League.

In recent months, Klopp’s team has veered away from their peak form, experiencing setbacks such as exits from the Europa League and FA Cup, along with a decline in performance in the Premier League, where they have slipped from the title race contention.

Despite these challenges, Liverpool’s ownership group, FSG, has been proactive in reshaping the club’s leadership. They have reinstated Michael Edwards as the new CEO of Football and are in the process of appointing Feyenoord manager Arne Slot. While the deal is not yet finalized, Slot’s transition to Liverpool appears imminent.

Slot channels Klopp’s high-energy, heavy-metal football philosophy, expecting his players to exhibit intense activity in attack and defense. This style could suit Mohamed Salah, despite recent criticism, as he’s still regarded as one of Europe’s top forwards.

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Mohamed Salah’s Season in Numbers

Salah’s season with Liverpool has been marked by his impressive tally of 25 goals and 14 assists. However, his recent performances have been subpar, coinciding with Liverpool’s disappointing results.

However, he made a spectacular comeback in Liverpool’s 4-2 victory over Tottenham Hotspur. Despite his contract expiring at the end of next season, David Ornstein of The Athletic predicts Salah will stay at Anfield for another season.

According to FBref, Salah is among the top 6% of attacking midfielders and wingers in Europe’s major leagues for goals, and in the top 1% for touches in the attacking penalty area and assists per 90.

Despite his recent struggles, he failed to score in four consecutive Premier League matches before the Spurs game, and his lackluster performance contributed to Liverpool’s Europa League exit against Atalanta, who have since reached the final. Additionally, Salah’s clash with Klopp during Liverpool’s 2-2 draw against West Ham United in April further highlighted his frustrations.

With Slot at the helm, Liverpool’s central midfield might see a resurgence, particularly under his preferred 4-2-3-1 formation. Klopp’s midfield is dynamic and hardworking, but Slot’s emphasis on a No. 10 role could inject creativity and fluidity into their play style. This change could also benefit players like Dominik Szoboszlai, potentially reigniting Salah’s peak performance level.

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How Szoboszlai Can Thrive Under Slot

Last summer, Liverpool secured Szoboszlai from RB Leipzig by triggering his £60m release clause. Initially, he burst onto the scene with fervor, but as the season progressed, the Hungarian’s form dwindled.

Despite battling injuries, his erratic performances have hindered Liverpool’s trophy aspirations, with journalist Lewis Steele describing some of his recent displays as “stinkers.”

Dominik Szoboszlai: 22/23 vs 23/24 (League Statistics)
Stat (per 90)22/2323/24
Matches played3131
Matches started2825
Goals0.220.13
Assists0.290.09
Pass completion80%82.5%
Shots taken2.132.47
Shots on target1.030.56
Shot-creating actions5.514.76
Progressive passes5.556.41
Progressive carries2.763.16
Successful take-ons1.951.04
Ball recoveries5.557.27
All stats via FBref

Szoboszlai’s transition to Liverpool has seen a shift in his effectiveness, with a decline in his goal-scoring prowess but an increase in progressive passing and carrying, indicative of his altered role in a more creative central midfield position.

However, his success in beating defenders has decreased significantly from his days in Germany, where he was hailed as a “generational talent” by journalist Marcel Moeller.

Crucially, Szoboszlai’s ability to contribute goals has diminished since joining Liverpool, despite taking more shots than before. Yet, this uptick in shot attempts is misleading, as his accuracy has notably declined compared to his Bundesliga performances.

By adopting a more advanced position, either centrally or on the flanks in an attacking midfield capacity, Szoboszlai has the potential to elevate his status as a Premier League standout. Under Slot’s tutelage, this strategic adjustment could foster a promising collaboration between players.

Take Salah, for instance; widely acclaimed as one of the league’s top finishers, he’s diversified his style to incorporate a dynamic flair that accentuates creativity.

Premier League 23/24: Big Chances Created
#PlayerClubStat
1.Mohamed SalahLiverpool22
2.Bruno FernandesManchester United20
3.Dwight McNeilEverton17
3.Heung-min SonTottenham Hotspur17
5.Kevin De BruyneManchester City16
5.Martin OdegaardArsenal16
Sourced via Premier League

Szoboszlai has demonstrated his agile dribbling and precise playmaking abilities since joining Liverpool. However, it’s evident that he’s been positioned in a deeper, more constrained role within Klopp’s system, potentially not his ideal fit.

With Slot overseeing Liverpool’s new chapter, Szoboszlai possesses all the skills necessary to thrive under his guidance, potentially shaping a prosperous career filled with trophies.

In his preferred role, he could emerge as the key creative force in an intimidating attacking lineup.

In other Liverpool news, Jurgen Klopp Names the ‘Very Talented’ Liverpool Youngster Who Has Been Performing Well in Training

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