In an already busy summer transfer window, Liverpool’s capture of Mohamed Salah has somewhat gone under the radar.
A £34 million signing from Roma, the Egyptian is a player Jurgen Klopp will be hoping can propel his side further up the table.
Last season he scored, 19 goals, registered 12 assists and created a whopping 60 chances for Roma as they finished second behind Juventus in Serie A.
With pace in abundance and a direct style that suits Klopp’s system to the ground, he is likely to be a big hit at Anfield and provides them with the sort of attacking power that will have defences running for the hills.
Furthermore, he will help to solve a big problem from last season, namely how they cope when Sadio Mane is either injured or out of form.
The Senegal forward was a revelation on Merseyside last season, with much of the Reds good performances down to his own stellar showings. His 13 league goals stand as a testament to just how good he performed.
Without him, though, they struggled. Lacking his pace and power in attack, Liverpool became turgid and unimaginative, something that saw them limping into the top four rather than continuing to push at the top of the table.
With Salah in the side, however, the Reds now have a way of easing the burden that rests on Mane’s shoulders. Should he be out injured at any stage next season, Salah will be the alternative that they lacked last year.
His arrival will also have a positive impact upon Philippe Coutinho. Presuming Salah will occupy a role on the opposite flank to Mane, this will free up the diminutive Brazilian to move back into a more central role.
That can only reap rewards for Liverpool, with Coutinho arguably at his best when playing centrally. In this position, he is free to be the creative midfielder that can unlock the deep lying defences that often frustrated Liverpool last season.
However, the signing of Salah does not fix the major problem that continues to hold back Liverpool; the defence. That is an issue that haunts this side far more than the absence of Mane.
Last season, Liverpool conceded 42 goals, more than any of the other top four sides. As Brendan Rodgers learned at his cost in the 2013/14 campaign, a strong attack is useless without an equally capable defence.
His team scored 101 goals that year but conceded 50, more than any other side in the top five. It was that leaky defence which cost them the title.
Jurgen Klopp is aware of this issue, his ill-fated pursuit of Virgil Van Dijk proves as much. The German knows he must improve his defence otherwise next season will likely be a big disappointment.
Mohammed Salah is an exciting signing but his arrival will prove to be pointless if Liverpool don’t strive to improve their defence in this transfer window.