The Liverpool fans in the Transfer Tavern wrote off their chances of winning the Champions League when Philippe Coutinho departed the club for Barcelona in the January transfer window, but their success in his absence proves their fears were unquestionably misplaced.
Jurgen Klopp’s side set up a Champions League final clash with Real Madrid in Kiev after finishing their two-legged clash with Roma as 7-6 winners on aggregate on Wednesday evening. The colossal scoreline is basically unheard of at a stage of the competition where ties have typically been tactical affairs characterised by defensive solidity in the past, but out-scoring opponents seems to be the Liverpool way this season.
The fluid front-three of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mo Salah are simply unstoppable in full-flow, and the performances of the latter have unsurprisingly attracted interest from outside the club according to the Spanish media outlet Diario Gol. According to the report, Real Madrid are interested in signing Salah this season in a swap deal which would see both Gareth Bale and Keylor Navas swap the Bernabeu for Anfield.
Although from a business point of view the aforementioned deal is a tantalisingly appealing one, it’s one which Liverpool should avoid at all costs this summer. Liverpool are in danger of earning themselves a reputation of being a selling club after they allowed Coutinho to depart during the mid-season window, and that growing reputation will be validated this summer if Salah moves to the Spanish capital.
Against all expectation, Coutinho’s departure from Liverpool appears to have enabled the team to grow into one of the most formidable counter-attacking teams on the continent, but there’s no chance Salah’s departure would do anything other than stagnate their progress. The electric Egyptian has been the focal point of everything positive about Liverpool’s performances this season, and his clinical instinct in the final-third has played a decisive role in their route to the final of the Champions League.
There’s no doubt that Liverpool have proven they are still a big player in world football with their performances both domestically and in Europe this season, but they need to prove it away from the field by holding on to Salah this summer, regardless of the appeal of the offer on the table.
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