The Liverpool fans in the Transfer Tavern are still reeling in regard to their absolutely collapse against Sevilla, throwing away a three-goal lead.
The Reds looked set to extend their winning run in all competitions to 5 matches on Tuesday night after they raced into a 3 goal lead at half-time, but Sevilla proved they were no push-overs and hosted a gutsy second-half fightback to claim a 3-3 draw. In the 2 matches prior to their Champions League tie on Tuesday, Mohamed Salah had netted 4 Premier League goals for the club which place the Egyptian at the top of the goal-scoring charts in the competition so far this season.
Although there is still plenty of football to be played this season, Salah’s form this season and his goal-scoring record for Roma suggest that he will be in contention for the golden boot next May.
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Salah’s goalscoring success from a wide-right position implies that the role of wide players is rapidly developing in the current climate of the Premier League, which sees the majority of clubs set-up with one striker up-front.
There was a time when 4-4-2 was the formation of choice for most successful clubs, but in recent years the adoption of this system has been a rarity in the Premier League.
The consequence for wide-players is that their ability to score goals is becoming a crucial component of their game, and many players will need to improve their finishing to suit the ever-evolving role.
Take Raheem Sterling for example, his finishing has been criticised in the British media on countless occasions due to a number of guilt-edged chances the Manchester City winger has wasted for both club and country.
But this season, he has improved massively in this area and he currently stands as the league’s second-highest scorer from out-wide with 7 goals thus far.
Leroy Sane (6), Anthony Martial (5) Watford’s revelation summer purchase Richarlison (5), all boast impressive returns from out-wide for their respective clubs so far this season, and these statistics are demonstrative of the increasing importance of wingers to do more than just chip in with a few goals, but actually go above and beyond what strikers are achieving in the league.
The traditional role of a winger as a provider is rapidly becoming an outdated concept in the Premier League, and being replaced by a role which requires wide-players to adopt the qualities of a striker.