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Graeme Souness: ‘Mohamed Salah must avoid becoming the next Mesut Ozil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’

Graeme Souness: ‘Mohamed Salah must avoid becoming the next Mesut Ozil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’

Former Liverpool midfielder and manager Graeme Souness has warned star attacker Mohamed Salah that his career could take a similar path to that of Mesut Ozil and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after signing a new deal over the summer.

The 30-year-old – who won the Premier League Golden Boot last term with 23 strikes in 35 games – ended speculation over a potential exit to either Real Madrid or Barcelona by signing a new three-year contract with the Reds in July, extending his deal until the summer of 2025.

However, Salah has since failed to rediscover his clinical form in front of goal this season, finding the net just twice in Liverpool’s opening six league matches and has drawn a blank in his last three games.

Souness, who spent seven years at Liverpool as a player, believes that he has seen a change in Salah’s mentality this term since he penned a new deal, but he hopes that the Egyptian will “prove him wrong” in the coming weeks.

Speaking to talkSPORT on the White and Jordan show, Souness said: “I mentioned Salah at the weekend, and I hope I’m wrong when I’m saying this because hopefully he saw it at the weekend and gets angry with me and says I’m going to prove him wrong.

© Reuters

“I just hope it’s not the case with him that he’s signed a new contract and he’s got in his armchair.

“I say that because think of Ozil and Aubameyang at Arsenal, that’s exactly what happened with them and a big contract.”

Both Ozil and Aubameyang saw their careers at the Emirates Stadium decline shortly after signing new contracts at Arsenal, with both player eventually leaving the club on free transfers – the former currently plies his trade with Istanbul Basaksehir while latter is back in the Premier League with Chelsea.

Souness added: “I was disappointed obviously in the result when [Liverpool] went to Old Trafford, and [Lisandro] Martinez went through Salah in the first five minutes in his left-back area.

Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring for Liverpool on August 6, 2022© Reuters

“And the rest of the game Salah was looking over his shoulder to see where he was. Is he coming again? I’ve not seen that before, he’s not someone who wants to get involved in the meatier part of the game, Salah.

“He’s too quick, too clever, and too cute, but that’s the first time I’ve seen him blatantly look for someone and not wanting to be kicked again. Just get on with it”

“I hope I’m wrong and Salah, if you’re listening, prove me wrong – please.”

Salah, who has recorded 159 goals and 66 assists in 261 appearances since joining the club in 2017, will be looking to get his name back on the scoresheet when Liverpool travel to Napoli for their opening Group A encounter in the Champions League on Wednesday.

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