Arsene Wenger and Gary Neville have both agreed on Mo Salah’s Liverpool ‘obsession’

Premier League Golden Boot: Salah's lead cut by Son

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Mohamed Salah’s admission that he set himself the target of scoring 40 goals this season has given some insight into the Liverpool star’s obsession with scoring goals. The Egyptian has been accused of being a “selfish” player in the past by Gary Neville and Arsene Wenger, and his revelation about his individual target suggests the Reds forward may refuse to change his ways.

When asked by BT Sport pundit Rio Ferdinand if he had set himself a goal for this season, Salah replied: “Always. Before the season starts, I know what I want individually and collectively. Collective is the most important thing for the team. Still below [my target]!

“I have big expectations for myself. Honestly, I never said this before, but before the season I said ‘Okay, I will go for 40 goals this season and 10, 15 assists’. Now I’ve reached the assists I need to focus on the goals now! I think now Trent [Alexander-Arnold] is going to be angry because I have the most assists in the Premier League but I will go for everything.”

Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville, now a pundit for Sky Sports, once remarked about Salah’s tendency to take goals off his team-mates when robbing Diogo Jota of the chance to score in a game against Leeds. “That is the selfish part of his game,” Neville said back in September 2020, as quoted by The Mirror. “He’s thought, ‘You’re not having a goal already’ and taken it off of him. It was Jota’s ball.

“His greed is one of his great strengths but he should have left it for his mate. He was never going to get there. He [Jota] would have had a goal if it wasn’t for Salah. You can’t do that. As great a player as he is, he knows that’s not a great look.”

It goes some way to painting a picture of Salah’s character behind the scenes and how he likes to be the star of the show. And ex-Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger, speaking back in 2019, agreed with Neville when it comes to breaking down the forward’s “obsession” with scoring goals.

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“Salah is a bit obsessed with finishing himself. That’s a dimension he’ll get certainly, when he grows a little bit older, to find the moment when you have to give the ball and when you have to finish. But I like him very much, he has huge potential. Mane as well.”

Salah picked up another assist in Liverpool’s 3-2 win over Villarreal on Tuesday night to move onto 30 goals and 15 assists in 46 club appearances games this season. Those tallies put Salah at the top of the standings for both statistics, but he remains 10 goals short of his goal target as Liverpool’s quadruple mission gathers serious momentum.

There is little doubt that, if the situation arises for a team-mate to score, Salah will make the right choice as evidenced by his gluttony of assists. And the 29-year-old’s obsession with finding the back of the net will surely only help Liverpool as he targets another record-breaking campaign.

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