Liverpool's Mohamed Salah primed to avoid second season syndrome

10th Jul 2018

The 2018/19 season is really intriguing for Liverpool for a number of reasons. Can Jurgen Klopp's side mount a title challenge and compete with Manchester City?

Will Loris Karius be able to recover from his Champions League nightmare? Can the Reds repeat last season's heroics and reach the Champions League final?

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All queries perhaps pale in comparison to the question of how Mohamed Salah’s second campaign at Anfield will work out, following his PFA Player of the Year-winning debut season.

Salah has been exceptional since joining last summer, scoring 44 goals - including a record 32 in the Premier League - as the Reds made it to the Champions League final.

READ MORE: Four Liverpool stars who failed to see out long-term contracts

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Injury brought his final in Kiev to a premature end, but there are more than enough positives the Egyptian can take from his first season even if silverware wasn’t earned come the end of it.

Yet this second campaign will be far different to the first one for Salah, who will absolutely be a marked man right from the off.

Initially, opposition defences may well have looked at the likes of Philippe Coutinho, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino as greater threats than Salah, yet now there’s no doubting who the main man is.

Straight away, teams will look to double up on Salah and see stopping him as the route to stopping Liverpool’s attacking fluidity as a whole.

QUIZ: World Cup 2018 Goalscorers

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That, however, is far easier said than done, particularly when playing against a Klopp system that looks to attack teams from all angles.

Pay too much focus to Salah, and Firmino will hurt you. If not Firmino, then Mane. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Adam Lallana also have the potential to break through a defence and carve open opportunities, whether it be for themselves or their team-mates.

For that fact alone, there should be real optimism and confidence that Salah will be able to repeat the high standards set last season as Liverpool continue to improve and build a team that they hope will be able to challenge for the title.

The 26-year-old is only just entering his prime years as a professional and will only continue to get better as time goes on.

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Though it was a disappointing World Cup for Salah and Egypt, the Liverpool talisman can take a form of consolation in the fact he recovered from injury in time for the tournament and scored two goals in as many group appearances before his nation's elimination.

If he is able to perform alongside limited resources, should there be any doubt that he will be able to do the same when lining up next to Firmino and Mane in attack?

Liverpool fans may have one or two concerns ahead of this season - the most pressing one being the goalkeeping situation - but Salah’s ongoing impact certainly shouldn’t be one of them.

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