Football News

Salah needs to drop selfish ‘obsession’ in order to match Messi, says Wenger

By J Smith

Published: 20:01, 8 September 2019

Arsene Wenger believes Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah should drop his ‘obsession’ with scoring goals himself to match Lionel Messi. 

The former Chelsea forward has won two consecutive Premier League Golden Boot awards since joining Liverpool from Roma in 2017, helping the Reds to a second-place finish last season.

Is Salah too selfish? Five things to know…

  • Salah has scored 57 Premier League goals since joining Liverpool in 2017.
  • He has also provided 20 assists during that time.
  • But Wenger believes he is still too selfish in the penalty area.
  • Salah was criticised for failing to pass to Sadio Mane during Liverpool’s recent 3-0 win over Burnley.
  • Wenger also thinks Salah needs to score even more goals if he is to be compared to Messi.

But despite highlighting similarities between the two, Wenger believes Salah, 27, must add even more goals to his game and learn when to pass rather than shoot himself if he is to reach the level of five-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi.

“He’s 20 goals away basically, if you want to be as concrete as possible,” Wenger told beIN Sports.

“But he is similar to Messi. He must still find the consistency of Messi. I find him a just as good finisher but Messi is the complete thing – he gives the final ball as well and Salah is a bit obsessed now by finishing himself so that’s a dimension he’ll get certainly when he gets a little bit older.

“To find the moment when you have to give the ball and when you have to finish. I like him [Salah] very much, he has huge potential.”

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Salah’s 2018/19 Golden Boot was shared with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and teammate Mane.

However, despite Salah and Mane taking most of the headlines, Wenger believes it is Brazilian forward Roberto Firmino, who notched 12 goals and six assists in the Premier League last season, is the one who makes their exploits possible.

“You forget the guy that sacrifices himself a little bit is Firmino,” he said.

“Like Luis Suarez did for Messi and Neymar. A guy that works for the team, that works for everybody and gets them to shine.

“This piece of the jigsaw is very hard to find – a striker that is generous.”

Liverpool currently top the Premier League table having won each of their first four games of the new season.

Jurgen Klopp’s men host Newcastle United in their next game after the conclusion of the international break.