Can Salah become Liverpool’s all time record goalscorer

Can Salah become Liverpool's all time record goalscorer - how many goals does he need to catch Ian Rush?

Can Salah become Liverpool's all time record goalscorer

The idea that Mohamad Salah could one day catch, and surpass, Ian Rush as the Reds all-time leading goalscorer might seem fanciful, but after scoring again at the weekend, and moving into equal 8th place on the Reds all-time goalscorers list, we felt that it was time to take a serious look at if, and how, our Egyptian king could one day surpass the legendary Welshman.

Salah vs Rush - The numbers

Lets start by taking a look at the number of goals each player has scored in a Liverpool shirt.

Ian rush scored a huge 346 goals in 660 appearances.  That's a goal every 1.9 games across his entire career.

To date, Mohamad Salah has scored 158 goals in 256 appearances.  That's a goal every 1.62 games across his career so far.

That means Salah would need to score another 188 goals.  That's a huge number, and its the reason most people assume Rush's record will never be beaten.

How could Salah catch Rush?

In order to catch and replace Rush at the top of the list, Salah needs to score another 188 goals.   Salah is currently 30 years old.  Traditional wisdom says Premier League strikers start to decline around 32-33 years of age.  That means Salah should have 3 more years at the top of his game.  However, Salah is an exceptionally fit individual, and keeps his body in excellent shape.  James Milner is 36 and still performing at the highest level for Liverpool.  Christiano Ronaldo is 38 and was still United's top goalscorer last season with 24 goals.   It would not be unreasonable therefore to suggest that Salah could be performing at a consistently high level for Liverpool for the next 6 seasons.

Some basic maths reveals that 188 goals over 6 seasons is equal to 31.3 goals a season.  Seeing as Salah has scored 30 or more goals in 3 out of the 5 seasons he has been a Red, the task seems a little more achievable.

However, scoring 30+ goals a season, any season, is a great achievement, so for Salah to continue scoring goals at the required rate will likely depend on 3 main factors :
1) How many games Liverpool play each year
2) If Salah is fit and available for the majority of the season
3) The quality of player Salah is playing alongside

It stands to reason that the more games Liverpool play in each season, the more opportunity Salah will have to score.  Last season Liverpool played in 67 games, and whilst it is unlikely that that will happen every year, it is reasonable to assume that Liverpool will play in 50+ games a season for the foreseeable future.  With Salah scoring a goal every 1.6 games, 32 goals would take on average 51 games (32 x 1.6).  Therefore, if Liverpool continue to progress into the later stages of the Champions League, FA Cup and League cup each year, then Salah should play enough games to score the goals needed.

As mentioned above, Salah is an extremely fit individual who respects his body.  Couple this with his religious beliefs that forbid him to drink, and it is not surprising to see that Salah spends very little time on the treatment table.  Of course, with age comes an increasing chance that injuries will occur, but again you only have to look at Ronaldo, to see that a fit and healthy Salah could easily play 40+ games a season well into his mid 30's.

Just as it helps to play in more games each season, playing alongside better quality players will also help Salah in his quest.  Not only will better quality players provide more chances and assists for Salah to score, they will also help take the burden of responsibility off of Salah, allowing him to concentrate on what he does best, scoring goals.  With Diaz, Nunez and Jota all in their mid 20's, and Elliott, Carvalho and Jones still kids there is no reason to think the quality of player playing alongside Salah will drop anytime soon.

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About the Author

About the Author

Peter Farrell

Lifelong fan with a passion for all things Liverpool. First memory of football is watching John Barnes score a dramatic last minute equaliser in the FA Cup when he was 4. Feels lucky to be a part of the 'Klopp' era.

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