Mo Salah has completely taken the English Premier League for assault, as he now holds the all-time greatest goal-per-game ratio in league history with 0.77 goals a night.
Most people thought he’d be just a one-year wonder, but he’s entering his third year with the Reds and hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down at all.
Still, nobody, not even Jose Mourinho, Jurgen Klopp or any of his former coaches ever thought he’d be that great, as Heiko Vogel, his boss at FC Basel, admitted during an interview.
“He had everything – the speed, the finish, the left foot – and that wasn’t overlooked. Still, I would be lying if I said had prophesied such a massive global career for him. In fact, I was more sure about others: Toni Kroos or Eden Hazard – I saw them when they were 15 years old. The nice thing is, I met Momo last year and he has not changed at all. That’s outstanding. If you knew him… he is not a world star, he has such a gentle character. It was always clear to me that he is an outstanding player, but whether he had the mentality? I didn’t know that exactly. Momo is a gentle killer,” Vogel told SPOX.
Salah stood up at FC Basel when Mourinho saw him when they faced Chelsea, and that’s where the journey truly began for the Egyptian striker. Still, he struggled at Chelsea and Fiorentina before breaking out at AS Roma.
And, according to Vogel, it didn’t take long for him to prove his talents at Basel, although there were a lot of doubts about his abilities after his first couple of training sessions:
“I told him: ‘Listen, just train as you like – we’ve already made our decision anyway’. Then he trained on the first day; everyone watched the session and we wondered if he might have a twin brother. The second day was a bit better, but not good. Gegge and I had already been talking him up for the tiniest things, saying stuff like: ‘did you see that pass?’. And then came the third day. It was then that he destroyed everything, he was really unstoppable.
He wasn’t nervous. He was confident, but immersed in a new world. He had to acclimate himself in the truest sense of the word. He came to us from hot north Africa. It’s always difficult when you get into an environment where you do not really understand the language. I have rarely seen such a dominant appearance in two-on-five (on the third day). It was absolutely extraordinary. He was so agile, so explosive. If he had the ball on his left foot, it was a goal. But Momo always had an eye for his team-mates as well. After that performance everyone knew why we wanted to sign him,” he concluded.
Now, Salah is one of the best strikers in the world and one of the main reasons why Klopp’s Liverpool has been so unstoppable lately, but he’s yet to scratch the surface of his potential.