Liverpool have been desperate to keep hold of Mohamed Salah after interest from Saudi Arabia, and journalist Dean Jones has given his verdict to GIVEMESPORT on whether the Reds should have accepted an offer.
The Egyptian is one of Liverpool's greatest ever players, but At-Ittihad were willing to pay a ridiculous fee to bring him to the Middle East.
Liverpool transfer news - Mohamed Salah
Losing Salah would be a catastrophe for the Merseyside club, talking from a purely football perspective. The former Chelsea winger has scored 188 goals and provided 81 assists in 309 appearances for Liverpool, as per Transfermarkt. With the English transfer window now closed, offloading Salah would mean Jurgen Klopp and his recruitment team would be unable to find a replacement.
This hasn't stopped Saudi Pro League side Al-Ittihad from testing Liverpool's resolve. According to The Telegraph, the Middle Eastern club are preparing to launch a world record £200m bid for Salah.
Even losing Salah whilst the English transfer window was open would be a disaster for the Merseyside club, but when they are unable to sign a replacement, it's an ever more difficult situation. However, with Salah now 31 years old and reaching the latter stages of his career, it's an astronomical amount of money that they would struggle to receive from clubs in Europe.
Klopp has been adamant over the last few weeks that Salah would not be departing Anfield in the near future...
"I've never had, and I don't have now, doubts about his future, his commitment to this club. Believe me, you can't imagine how much fuss the whole world makes and how calm we are with it. He's our player, he wants to play here and that's it."
It could have been a good moment to take advantage for Liverpool - Dean Jones
Considering his age, £200m is a fee Liverpool would never be able to receive for Salah in a normal situation. The influence from Saudi Arabia has changed things in England, and it could have been a good time for Liverpool to cash in and go in a new direction. However, when they are unable to sign a replacement, it's a tricky decision for the Merseyside club.
Jones believes that Liverpool are so stacked for options in attack, that offloading Salah and looking to sign a replacement in January wouldn't have been the worst idea. However, the journalist understands that his view might be a little different to someone with Liverpool connections. Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, he said...
"It’s too late for the Salah deal now, the club made it clear they aren’t ready to cash in - even at the extraordinary prices being touted. I’m actually of the view it could have been a good moment to take advantage of a ridiculous offer like this because Liverpool are so stacked for attacking options that I think they could easily have got to January and been in a good place, and then redefined the team for the business end of the season. But I’m not a Liverpool fan or employee and I can imagine that 90% of people attached to the club do not want to see any more key players being snatched by the Saudi Pro League. Liverpool are also a club of traditional principles and will feel that this is just not good for football. Then there is also the factor of Jurgen Klopp. He would have been ruffled if such a deal had gone through. Now he can continue to plot the season with his star man on board."
Attacking Options - Liverpool Stats
Stats according to Transfermarkt
Is Mohamed Salah replaceable for Liverpool?
In terms of out-and-out right-wingers, Liverpool will struggle to find a player capable of replicating Salah's output for the Reds. However, it could be a case of taking one step backwards and two steps forward. At the age of 31, Salah won't have too long left at the top level, and if they sign an up-and-coming star to replace him, it could work out well eventually.
It's a very similar situation to Manchester City, who lost Riyad Mahrez to the Middle East in the summer window. As a replacement, Pep Guardiola brought in 21-year-old Jeremy Doku. Although the Belgian forward might not be at the level of Mahrez just yet, he's got the potential to hopefully surpass his ability in the future.