Mo Salah was, alongside fellow Africans Sadio Mane and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the Premier League’s top goalscorer in the 2018/19 season. His total of 22 goals in 38 matches was, however, a drop from the previous year’s 32 in 36 – when, as the outright winner of the Golden Boot, he became only the ninth player to score more than 30 goals in a Premier League season.
The Egyptian’s assist figures also fell from 10 to eight, though during a campaign in which Liverpool’s expansive full-backs Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson were so influential they were both named in the PFA team of the season. Salah, by contrast, was overlooked.
Expectations that he could match the remarkable statistics of his first season were probably unrealistic. Opponents have become significantly more aware of his threat and strengths, and it’s important to note he doesn’t even operate as an out-and-out striker. A reduction from such impressively high numbers was almost inevitable.
Alan Shearer remains the only player to hit the 30-goal mark in consecutive Premier League seasons. It is also worth noting that only Robin van Persie and Thierry Henry have followed a 30-plus-goal Premier League season with a total higher than Salah’s recent 22.