Home News 7 options to potentially replace Mohamed Salah – eventually!

7 options to potentially replace Mohamed Salah – eventually!

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Replacing the irreplaceable is no easy feat but it is not a matter that Liverpool can brush under the carpet, they will sooner or later need a Mohamed Salah replacement. So who might fit the mould?

To say Salah has been phenomenal for Liverpool since arriving in 2017 would be an understatement. He helped spearhead the success achieved under Jurgen Klopp and become one of the club’s greatest ever players.

Succession planning, though, is required, especially in light of Saudi Arabian interest. It is not a thought too many will want to contemplate but there will come a day when Salah is no longer donning the Reds’ No. 11 shirt, potentially as soon as next summer when he will have a year remaining on his contract.

The Reds have not neglected their forward line in recent years, bringing in Darwin Nunez, Luis Diaz and Cody Gakpo, but Salah’s position has remained his own and there will soon come a time that the baton is passed on.

But who could fill the void? It is not a question of directly replacing his output, that would be an almost impossible task, but finding the right fit.

Here, we take a look at seven potential replacements for Salah for when the time was to come.

 

Johan Bakayoko – PSV

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGNNzwT99HI

Age: 20
Position: Right winger
Preferred foot: Left

There were murmurings over the summer regarding interest from Liverpool, who has shown plenty of potential and things to like for PSV.

There is not the volume of senior games like others on this list – just 45 to date – but Bakayoko has shown he is strong in possession and is not afraid to take on the opposition.

Last season, he ranked the sixth-highest in successful dribbles in the Eredivisie and so far has seven goals and 10 assists for PSV.

A pursuit for Bakayoko would have to come with the acknowledgement that he would need time to develop.

 

Bryan Mbeumo – Brentford

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Wednesday, February 9, 2022: Brentford's Bryan Mbeumo during the FA Premier League match between Manchester City FC and Brentford FC at the Etihad Stadium. Manchester City won 2-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Age: 24
Position: Right winger
Preferred foot: Left

A versatile attacker in the right age bracket under Liverpool’s ownership, leaving plenty of time for further development into his prime years.

Mbeumo has the pace required, has a proven track record with Brentford when it comes to goals and assists (45 goals and 36 assists), plus, importantly, is left-footed and thus comfortable cutting inside.

Despite being 5’6″, he is strong in the air with his 1.6 aerials won placing him in the 91st percentile for attacking midfielders/wingers.

A diligent, experienced player who you feel is one of the most attainable on this list – and it is worth mentioning he is hardly, if ever, injured.

 

Jarrod Bowen – West Ham

2HFFAH4 London, UK. 16th Jan, 2022. Jarrod Bowen of West Ham United celebrates after scoring his sides first goal. Premier League match, West Ham Utd v Leeds United at the London Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London on Sunday 16th January 2022. this image may only be used for Editorial purposes. Editorial use only, license required for commercial use. No use in betting, games or a single club/league/player publications. pic by Lewis Mitchell/Andrew Orchard sports photography/Alamy Live news Credit: Andrew Orchard sports photography/Alamy Live News

Age: 26
Position: Right winger
Preferred foot: Left

Klopp has lauded Bowen in the past and links have continually been made to the Englishman, who is being taught to model his game on Salah at West Ham – which ought to capture Liverpool’s attention.

Adept with both feet and capable of scoring with his head, the 26-year-old, like Mbeumo, is no stranger to coupling his goals with assists – 32 assists and 43 goals in 162 outings for the Hammers.

A key trait to consider too is that Bowen is homegrown, which the Reds need more of, and with his contract expiring in two years, a deal could be there to strike next summer.

A hard-worker off the ball – 95th percentile for interceptions – he is in the mould of what Liverpool would be after, and still narrowly inside the preferred age bracket.

 

Michael Olise – Crystal Palace

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 23, 2022: Crystal Palace's Michael Olise during the FA Premier League match between Crystal Palace FC and Liverpool FC at Selhurst Park. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Age: 21
Position: Right winger
Preferred foot: Left

A player with plenty of pace, technique and a relentless attitude, Olise is a young talent with an incredibly high ceiling that can be tapped into.

Olise already has more than 140 senior appearances and he knows how to find his team-mates and set them up – he has 33 career assists so far.

The drawback is that his eye for goal still needs significant improving, with his goalscoring instinct not as elite as others on this list with only 13 senior goals to date.

A creator that could yet grow into more but with his start to the new season delayed by a hamstring injury, his fitness record will need to be watched closely.

 

Moussa Diaby – Aston Villa

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - Sunday, August 20, 2023: Aston Villa's Boubacar Kamara (L) and Moussa Diaby celebrate after the FA Premier League match between Aston Villa FC and Everton FC at Villa Park. Villa won 4-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Age: 24
Position: Right winger, attacking midfielder
Preferred foot: Left

In a list of players not as most similar to Salah on FBref, Diaby is the first player listed, last season averaging 3.67 shot creating actions per 90 compared to the Egyptian’s 3.83.

Diaby is only in his first season in the Premier League after joining from Bayer Leverkusen, and he is a player eager to be involved in the build up and in the creation of chances for his team.

The Frenchman recorded a take on success rate of 48.6 percent compared to Salah’s 37.3 last season, and he likes to thrust his side forward – traits we see from our No. 11 regularly.

His sample size in English football is currently limited to five matches but he already has two goals and an assist – adding to his 49 scored during his time with Leverkusen and four with PSG.

 

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia – Napoli

NAPLES, ITALY - Wednesday, September 7, 2022: SSC Napoli's Khvicha Kvaratskhelia looks dejected after missing a chance during the UEFA Champions League Group A matchday 1 game between SSC Napoli and Liverpool FC at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona. Napoli won 4-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Age: 22
Position: Left winger
Preferred foot: Right

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia is an exciting player and while he is more than comfortable using both feet, he is a natural left winger and thus an exception on this list.

He has game-winning capabilities, Liverpool saw that for themselves in the Champions League, and is quick with both his feet and his reading of the game.

He burst onto the scene last season scoring 14 goals and setting up a further 18, but he is currently experiencing a goal drought having not scored for his club since March.

Another young talent who would demand a sizeable fee, but the biggest question mark is if he would be seen as only a left winger – that would require other solutions to replace Salah.

 

Karim Adeyemi

2G1FPRJ Ljubljana, Slowenien. 06th June, 2021. Karim David ADEYEMI (GER), action, single image, trimmed single motif, portrait, portrait, portrait. Germany (GER) -Portugal (POR) 1-0, Soccer U-21, FINAL UEFA Under21 European Championship 2021 in Hungary/Slovenia on 06.06.2021 in Ljubljana, Stozice Stadium. Credit: dpa/Alamy Live News

Age: 21
Position: Left winger, forward
Preferred foot: Left

A player Liverpool had interest in before his move to Dortmund, Adeyemi is capable of offering similar traits to that of Salah. While he has previously played on the right wing, he will typically be found on the left or in a central role.

He has plenty of experience for his age, playing a combined 129 matches for Salzburg and Dortmund – in that time he has scored 42 goals and made 30 assists.

Another player ready to take on the opposition – ranked in the 81st percentile for successful take-ons – and as a left-footer he could be moulded to make a permanent switch to the right.

Karim Adeyemi would represent a versatile option with age certainly on his side to develop at Anfield, which would need to include a greater consistent goalscoring threat.

 

What about an in-house solution?

PRESTON, ENGLAND - Monday, August 7, 2023: Liverpool's Ben Doak during a pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and SV Darmstadt 98 at Deepdale. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

If Liverpool were to go down this route, you feel they would still need to bring an extra body in when the time comes that Salah does bid farewell.

Currently, there is not a natural successor that already exists in Klopp’s ranks, but one possible solution would be to shift Luis Diaz to the right wing.

We have seen him there on occasion, though it is not a natural fit and would alter the dynamic of the forward line. Thus, it is an option but not one that feels realistic.

Ben Doak, on the other hand, is coming through the ranks and has already shown talent beyond his tender 17 years and is certainly one to watch for the right wing, but shouldering the pressure of the position feels a couple of steps away.