Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said Mohamed Salah was “on his way” to being mentioned in the same breath as Lionel Messi after he scored four goals against Watford on Saturday.
Salah is now the leading goalscorer in Europe’s top five leagues – overtaking Barcelona’s Messi and Tottenham striker Harry Kane.
But according to Klopp, the 25-year-old Egyptian is focused on his own game.
“I don’t think Mo wants to be compared with Lionel Messi,” he said.
“Messi has been doing what he’s been doing for what feels like 20 years or so.
“The last player I know who had the same influence on a team performance was Diego Maradona.
“But Mo is in a fantastic way, that’s for sure. As it always is in life, if you have to have the skills you have to show that constantly and consistently, and he is very good.”
Yet in just nine months, Salah has scored 36 goals for the Reds – the most by a single player in their debut season at Anfield – and sits on 28 for this Premier League campaign with seven games still to play.
Former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard believes “we are witnessing the start of greatness”.
But such are Salah’s similarities with the Argentine great, that even his goals are starting to resemble Messi’s.
It took just four minutes for Salah to open the scoring against Watford, jinking his way through the Hornets’ defence and leaving Miguel Britos on the floor before firing home.
It was eerily reminiscent of a goal Messi scored against Bayern Munich in the 2015 Champions League semi-final, when he left Jerome Boateng sprawled on the turf.
But Salah remains humble about his talents, thanking his team-mates and saying a clean sheet against Javi Gracia’s side was “most important”.
“Mo is in a fantastic way, that’s for sure,” Klopp added. “The boys love playing together with him, and he loves playing with them.”