Liverpool are set to lose Mohamed Salah for up to eight games due to the Africa Cup of Nations, and the numbers show just what we can expect to be missing.
The Egyptian king has once again been lethal in front of goal in 2023/24, getting on the scoresheet 16 times in all competitions as he looks to make it seven consecutive seasons netting 20 or more for the Reds.
Salah is set to join up with the Egypt squad immediately after the New Year’s Day clash with Newcastle, where he will captain the side as they look to repeat the run which saw them reach the final of the competition in 2021.
His 12 Premier League strikes make up 30.8% of Liverpool’s goals in the competition so far this season, which sees him sit in seventh place in that particular category as per Transfermarkt – topped by ex-Red Dominic Solanke at Bournemouth.
The forward’s importance to the side is further emphasised when you add in assists, with his seven for the season taking his goal contributions tally up to 19 goals from 19 appearances.
Should you combine the two, his contributions account for 48.7% of all Liverpool’s 39 Premier League goals so far in the competition, with the No. 11 sitting at very the top of the pile for that metric in the top flight.
More impressively, Salah has recorded more assists than any other player across Europe’s top five leagues for the calendar year 2023.
Egypt lost the AFCON final to Sadio Mane‘s Senegal on penalties last time out, but should they replicate that journey, Liverpool will be without their talismanic winger for a maximum of eight games.
He will miss the following four games as a minimum, but progression in the competition will keep him away from the squad for further matches:
- Arsenal (A) – FA Cup third round – January 7
- Fulham (H) – Carabao Cup semi-final – January 10
- Bournemouth (A) – Premier League – January 21
- Fulham (A) – Carabao Cup semi-final – January 24
Should Salah’s country make it all the way, he would also miss the visit of Chelsea on January 31, the trip to Arsenal on February 4, Burnley‘s trip to Anfield on February 10 and a potential fourth-round FA Cup tie.
Fans could therefore expect him to return for the game at Brentford on February 17.
There is a long list of positives to having Salah in your team, but losing him for a prolonged period to international commitments once every two years is unquestionably a significant blow.
It is unclear who is going to fill the vacated right-wing spot in his absence, with the 31-year-old typically one of the first names on the teamsheet in the Premier League.
Let’s hope we are still in good shape on all fronts when he gets back to Merseyside!