Liverpool fans must be agonising over the news that target Mohamed Salah looks set to sign for Premier League rivals Chelsea.
The Reds had been scouting the talented Egyptian for some time and were reportedly in the final stages of striking a deal with his Swedish club Basel when Chelsea, much like they did with Willian at the start of the season, pulled off a heist those associated with a certain train robbery more than 30-years ago would be proud of.
However, missing out on Salah's signature could be the blessing many Liverpool supporters are not seeing at the moment. There's no doubt that the 21-year-old is a gifted footballer, as he has proven twice against his now employers in this season's Champions League, but what he offers is what Liverpool wants, not what they need at this time.
Salah is a creative winger/midfielder who could give Usain Bolt a bit of concern, at least until the Jamaican gets into his running phase of a race. What's more impressive is that Salah can register high speeds with a ball at his feet. And he's certainly not indifferent in front of goal, having scored 17 times in 27 outings for his country.
Notwithstanding, his arrival at Anfield would at best improve on what Luis Suarez, Philippe Coutinho, Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling have been doing this season. With the contribution of this quartet and other players, Liverpool have notched up 53 goals in the League so far to be the second most prolific behind the the free-scoring Manchester City.
Contrast that with the team's defensive status and it is a narrative of woe. To say that Liverpool have conceded 28 goals in 22 matches does not describe how easy it has been for opposition teams to invade what should be the sacred ground and leave Simon Mignolet flailing like a man trying to stop a cab somewhere in the Caribbean.
Missing out on Salah will hopefully now cause Brendan Rodgers to put the focus where it is really needed: a holding midfielder, particularly now that Lucas Leiva is injured and Joe Allen is just returning from an injury of his own; cover for the centre backs, one of whom has seen his best days elsewhere, another who has struggled with the pace of the English game and yet another who has hardly been able to put a run of games together because of injury.
It would have been nice to sign Mohamed Salah. His presence would have lit up Anfield. If Liverpool's decision-makers were convinced he was really needed, they would have tried to outbid Chelsea. But sometimes you just have to sacrifice flash and flair when what you really need is graft and solidity.
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