Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah Signs New Contract
On Friday 1st July Liverpool FC announced that Salah had signed a new contract with the club finally ending the 18-month long contract saga. Salah has signed a new deal with Liverpool until 2025 on a reported £350,000 per week removing the risk of Salah joining Sadio Mane in leaving Liverpool this summer or for free next summer. But why have Liverpool decided to finally break their wage structure and make Salah the biggest earner in the club’s history?
The Salah Saga
For the last 18 months or so it has been reported that Salah was demanding around £400,000 per week and that Liverpool were not going to meet that number. Then, all of a sudden, a £350,000 per week contract is agreed. Up until now Liverpool’s highest paid player was Virgil Van Dijk on £220,000 per week so Salah’s £350,000 per week is a big jump up from that. Perhaps the sale of Sadio Mane, who’s wage demands were reportedly in a similar ballpark, has freed up some extra money. Perhaps the loss of Sadio Mane this year has made the risk of losing Salah for free next year too big a chance to take or perhaps Liverpool FC have finally accepted that Salah is one of the best players in world football and deserves to be paid as such.
Whatever the reason for Liverpool’s sudden change in wage structure it is a change that simply had to be made. Even if Sadio Mane had not left the club this summer, to move to Bayern Munich, Liverpool simply could not allow Salah to leave for free or for money. Claims have been made by some, with Gary Neville being the main proponent of this idea, that Salah has ‘played’ Liverpool to get what he wants. This could not be further from the truth, keeping a player of Salah’s quality, with his injury record and mentality is essential to help keep Liverpool at the top table of European football. How ironic that the day after Salah’s new contract is announced the news breaks that Ronaldo would like to leave Manchester United because he feels the club aren’t at the level he wishes to be at.
Salah’s record for Liverpool is simply outrageous, making 254 appearances across 7 different competitions, scoring 156 goals, assisting 58, winning six trophies and numerous individual awards. Salah also very rarely misses a game of football because of his incredible attitude and fitness levels, shown in the fact that since joining the club in the summer of 2017 Salah has only missed 10 league games (not including time spent at AFCON). The numbers show just how integral to Liverpool Salah is and there is no reason to suggest that his standards will drop. When you consider how much other top Premier League players are paid, Ronaldo £510,000 per week, Kevin De Bruyne £400,000 per week, David de Gea £375,000 per week and Erling Haaland £375,000 per week it is hard to disagree that Salah doesn’t deserve his new wage of £350,000 per week.
Liverpool’s wage structure has served them very well and the reluctance to move away from it until now is presumably down to not wanting the wage bill to become unsustainable and have players who don’t justify their wages. The danger of paying one player more than everyone else comes when other players come to renew their contracts and decide that they want to be paid the same as the highest paid player. For example, if Firmino decided he wanted to be paid £350,000 per week when he starts negotiating his new contract you have a choice to make. Either let him go, when you would rather keep him, or you pay him what he wants and suddenly the entire wage bill starts rising to an unsustainable point. However, it seems highly unlikely that the Liverpool dressing will begrudge Salah his new wage because they all know better than anyone just how crucial to Liverpool he is.
Moving on from Mane
After losing Sadio Mane to Bayern Munich Liverpool fans were naturally disappointed, as any fan would be after seeing one of their best players leave, but signing Darwin Nunez from Benfica and now Salah signing a new contract will give Liverpool fans belief that they can once again challenge on all fronts. Liverpool’s transfer business is reportedly finished in terms of incoming players and getting all their business done early can only be beneficial. New signings Fabio Carvalho, Calvin Ramsey and Darwin Nunez and January signing Luis Diaz will benefit greatly from having a full preseason under Klopp with the hopes that they can help Liverpool hit the ground running when they kick off the Premier League season at Craven Cottage on August 6th.