Salah staying at Liverpool, but no guarantees under Slot regime

Mohamed Salah staying at Liverpool is still a possibility this summer, despite his touchline bust-up with Jurgen Klopp in Saturday lunchtime's 2-2 draw at West Ham United in the Premier League according to The Athletic.

Renowned football journalist David Ornstein reports that the Reds expect Salah to stay next season, despite him approaching the final year of his contract. There has been interest from the Saudi Pro League in the Egypt international, but the Saudi view is that Salah intends to stay at Anfield.

There is no doubt Salah has been a remarkable servant for Liverpool, spearheading their attack as the Reds won the Premier League and UEFA Champions League under Klopp. However, the last few weeks have gone a bit stale for the 32-year-old, who has been left on the bench in two of his last three appearances.

His declining form correlates with Liverpool's recent drop-off, as their draw at West Ham followed a 2-0 defeat at Everton in the Merseyside derby, while more dropped points against Manchester United and Crystal Palace have left them off the pace in the title race.

Photo by Icon Sport

Salah staying at Liverpool: The wrong call?

Salah has still produced great numbers in the league overall, with 17 goals and nine assists so far this season. Yet, we are used to seeing monstrous numbers from the Egyptian, and better performances. As such, there is now a question over whether Liverpool should cash in.

They could demand an inflated transfer fee from the growingly ambitious Saudi Pro League, and also get his large wages off the books. The money could then be used to buy a younger talent with high potential that can be nurtured under a new manager, likely Feyenoord's Arne Slot, and be the face of a new project.

While a wise old head never goes amiss when filling proverbial shoes the size of Klopp's, Slot's Feyenoord side have gained a reputation as a bunch of young upstarts. Notably, a 2-0 win over NEC in January 2023 saw Slot become only the fourth-ever permanent Feyenoord manager to field a starting XI with an average age of 23.1 years or less, after Mario Been and the Koeman brothers, Erwin and Ronald.

Santiago Gimenez could be on Slot's hitlist – Credit: ANP OLAF KRAAK – Photo by Icon sport

A raid expected

Slot's youngest starting XI this season isn't much older either (23.4). And although the Dutch top flight is far more forgiving towards youth talent than its English counterpart, Slot is expected to raid his current employers for talent. In turn, swapping Meuse-side for Merseyside could be Santiago Giménez, who has previously been linked to West Ham.

The Mexican hitman is comfortably on the podum in the Eredivisie's current top scorer charts, and while his arrival wouldn't be immune to cynics in the Kop End, it's certainly worth remembering what fellow Eredivisie alumni Luis Suarez achieved after moving to Anfield in 2011…

Alternatively, Slot could turn to Mats Wieffer to fill the Jordan Henderson-shaped hole that has been so badly exposed during Liverpool's recent slump. According to Whoscored, Wieffer is the only Feyenoord player with a better average rating than Gimenez, and at just 24 years old, he will want to reach his peak at a club now assured of Champions League football in 2024/25.

Adam is a lead writer on Football Whispers. He is a big Arsenal fan, and also follows his local club Wealdstone, made famous by The Wealdstone Raider, of whom he has interviewed. Adam also follows darts, boxing, cricket and tennis, among many other sports.