Search icon


27th Apr 2018

It is refreshing to hear Virgil van Dijk giving such an honest take on Mo Salah

The easy answer would have been to simply agree and say, 'Yes'.

Patrick McCarry

The easy answer would have been to simply agree and say, ‘Yes’.

It would be a stretch to say Liverpool’s defence is now sorted but it is in much better shape than it has been in some time.

Sure, Dejan Lovren is still in there. The Croatian is still capable of a rickett every now and then but, for the most part, he was good in two legs against Manchester City and the semi-final first leg against Roma. Across the back four, Andrew Robertson has well and truly came to the fore, Trent Alexander Arnold is looking good and van Dijk is everything Reds fans have been hoping for.

Loris Karius has even established himself as the No.1.

Those five players will be getting some personal satisfaction out of their decent returns but they will all be just as happy to leave the plaudits to the front three. ‘The Fab Four’ lost Philippe Coutinho during the January transfer window but have barely missed a step.

Sadio Mané and Roberto Firmino have already claimed the affections of Liverpool fans, teammates and coaches but Mohamed Salah is the star pupil, and no doubt.

The Egyptian has, so far, scored 43 goals and chipped in with 13 assists in his debut season at Anfield and rattled Roma something fierce in the 5-2 Champions League walloping. That stretch of top performances after top performances have led to comparisons that will have been traded from barstool to barstool the world over in recent weeks.

One of the hottest topics in football right now is this – Is Mo Salah as good, or better, than Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi right now?

Van Dijk offered up an extensive interview to The Telegraph’s Paul Hayward ahead of Liverpool’s league clash with Stoke and was asked for his take on Salah. Is the winger up there with Ronaldo and Messi?

“You need to be honest,” the Dutchman begins.

“This season Mo has been unbelievable. The numbers don’t lie, with the goals he’s scored, as a winger, and the assists he’s been giving. It’s been one hell of a season for him already. You don’t know what can happen. He deserves a lot already for the way he’s showed himself in his first season for Liverpool. He’s definitely up there, right now, with his current form.

“Those two in Spain [Ronaldo and Messi] – they have been doing it for years, consistently, so that’s maybe something for Mo to have in the future. I hope so.”

One suspects van Dijk won’t get too much slack from his teammates for not getting as carried away about the excellent Salah as so many of us out there.

The big trophies are still there to be won but that doesn’t stop the debates being any less fun.