The former Manchester City star turned pundit is the latest football figure to heap praise on Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, just a year after Arsene Wenger compared the forward to Lionel Messi
Salah has notched four goals in five games across all competitions thus far this campaign, his recent strike in the 3-0 away victory over Leeds at Elland Road a memorable one as it sealed the 29-year-old’s place in the history books – the close-range effort his 100th in the Premier League.
His weekend heroics were quickly followed up just three days later in the Champions League, Salah scoring Liverpool’s equaliser in their 3-2 comeback win over Italian giants A.C. Milan, though he did see his first-half spot-kick saved by Milan shot-stopper Mike Maignan.
Salah’s scintillating form has led to Richards likening him to none other than Paris Saint-Germain superstar Messi.
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Writing in the Daily Mail about his short stint as Salah’s teammate while the pair were at Fiorentina, Richards claimed: “I’m not making a comparison with Lionel Messi but he was doing things that were Messi-like.
“Football is littered with stories of players who are brilliant in training but don’t do it on match day but Mo – from the evidence I had – was not like that.”
Richards, perhaps unsurprisingly given Salah’s form ever since he arrived in Merseyside, is not the face person to mention Messi and Salah in the same sentence.
In late 2019, former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger compared Liverpool’s talisman to Barcelona’s greatest goalscorer during an interview with beIN Sports just before Jurgen Klopp’s side toppled Brazilian outfit Flamengo in the FIFA Club World Cup final.
“I like the way of his evolution. Because he had touches last night [against Monterrey] of a playmaker.
“He created chances around the box that are exceptional, there were things of Messi in him last night and I like that a guy who can score so many goals also becomes the guy who gives assists.
“That is a complete player. That’s what we all admire and what we want from our players.”
Salah’s stellar start to the season has helped Klopp’s men rise to third in the league, one of four teams including league leaders Man Utd to boast ten points from four games.
However, the rich vein of form Salah finds himself in has only caused further concern among the Liverpool faithful over the fact he is yet to pen a new contract despite the fact his current deal expires in just two years.
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The last thing Liverpool want to do is corner themselves into a weak bargaining position next summer, by which time clubs will be well aware Salah is free to walk for nothing the following year.
Klopp addressed the topic during his pre-match presser ahead of Saturday’s clash against Crystal Palace, explaining: “There is nothing really to say about it, especially not from me as I am not involved.
“Obviously the only thing I am really interested in is how Mo looks, how sharp he is, how committed he is at the moment and that’s absolutely spot on. Really good.
“There is nothing new to say about [the contract].”