Gary Neville feels Mohamed Salah will exceed the levels of Liverpool teammate Sadio Mane and could go on to become the world’s best player.
The Egyptian forward was in ruthless form to start his Premier League season with a bang on Saturday as he fired a hat-trick in Liverpool’s 4-3 win over Leeds.
Salah now tops the scoring charts after the first fixture of the campaign having won the Golden Boot twice in the last three years, narrowly missing out last season.
And while Liverpool’s front three are well lauded for their role in the club’s dominance, Neville feels Salah’s “selfish” nature can propel him to a new level.
He explained on Sky Sports : “You think of the mentality difference between Mane and Salah. Mane is likeable, I think the players probably love him, he gives his all every single day, he’ll do the selfless thing for the team.
“Then you look at Salah over on the other side. He doesn’t pass sometimes to his team-mate, he’ll be a little bit more selfish, a little bit less likeable because of that, probably by the fans, probably by some of his team-mates.
“But then I look at him as sort of an outsider as somebody looking at him thinking, ‘he is an absolute killer on the pitch’.
“He reminds me of that twin tracking of Ronaldo and Rooney in the mid 2000s where they were both like that and that’s where Mane and Salah are.
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Liverpool got their title defence off to a shaky start as they edged out a seven-goal thriller against Leeds.
The Reds remain keen on Bayern Munich’s Thiago Alcantara, but Georginio Wijnaldum continues to be linked with Barcelona.
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“I think Salah will end up going above Mane, not because Mane’s not a great player, as Rooney was a great player.
“But the reason that these players are different is they’ve got something up here that means they go home at night and being the best player in the world rocks their world.
“Whereas actually a Rooney or a Mane, they feel the team’s got to win, I’ve got to give my all, fight for my players. Salah doesn’t do that.”
Salah thumped home a penalty to give Liverpool the lead on Saturday to grab the first of his treble.
He then lashed home his second right into the top corner of the goal, before sealing Liverpool’s victory with a cool late winner from the spot.
But it was his all-round play which Neville was impressed by which he described as “elements of [Lionel] Messi and [Ryan] Giggs”.
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He continued: “I thought he [Salah] looks different. He’s had a hair cut, he looks mean, he looks thin, he’s hungry, his strong. His game looked more mature.
“We’re only 90 minutes into his season, he’s against a team that lets you play and it might be early, but I just thought I was looking at a player on Saturday that you could be thinking, ‘well, Mbappe is fantastic, Neymar, he’s up and down a bit. Where is the best player in the world going to be in these next couple of years?’
“Look, he’s not far away from it anyway, but to me on Saturday he looked like an absolutely different level in that game.”
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