Mohamed Salah achieves landmark calendar year in 2023 – first player since Thierry Henry

What a 2023 Mohamed Salah had.

Liverpool's Egyptian King has gone from strength to strength and proven himself as important as ever to Jurgen Klopp's team, despite being the wrong side of 30 and persistent noise about Saudi Arabia.

Earlier this year he hit 200 goals for Liverpool and 150 in the Premier League.

At the halfway stage of the 2023/24 Premier League season, Salah has 12 goals (only Erling Haaland has more) and seven assists (only Ollie Watkins has more) – with no top-flight player registering more combined goal involvements than the winger's 19.

Over the course of 2023 as a whole, it's even more impressive from the number 11.

As noted by Opta, with 24 goals and 15 assists across the calendar year, Salah is the only player to exceed 15 goals and 15 assists in Europe's 'big five' leagues in 2023 – highlighting what a unique attacking threat he is.

So rare is the feat that Salah is the first Premier League player to get 15+ goals and assists in a calendar year since Arsenal legend Thierry Henry managed it 20 years before in 2003.

As pointed out by Opta's Michael Reid, no player could match Salah's 39 goal involvements across 2023 (24 goals, 15 assists), while this marks the fourth time the Egyptian has ended the year top or joint-top in this statistic.

Across all competitions, Salah registered 49 goal contributions in 2023 – a total bettered by only three players in Europe.

Salah's continued output makes a mockery of those who suggested the former Roma man was past his peak and that Liverpool would be better off selling him during the summer.

Earlier this season, Jurgen Klopp claimed the 31-year-old was not biologically comparable with other players and has the bones of a teenager.

He said: "Mo doesn’t behave like [he is 30] at all. Off the pitch he behaves, he is a grown man, beyond that he is still a young player. He is top fit I think if we were to scan him the majority of the bones are aged 19 or 20! He just keeps himself in such good shape.

"I cannot compare Mo to other 30-year-olds because I don't think biologically he is [the same]."

Salah's current Liverpool contract is due to expire in the summer of 2025, shortly before he will turn 33.

There has been much speculation about whether he will extend his deal again – he is already the club's highest-paid player ever – or be allowed to leave in the summer, amid the continued interest from the Saudi Pro League. His numbers suggest doing anything other than attempting to keep him at Anfield would be foolish.

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