Mohamed Salah: Gary Neville claims Liverpool star can take over from Lionel Messi

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Mohamed Salah didn’t attempt to hide his disappointment at missing out on a third consecutive Premier League Golden Boot last season.

He was comforted by the consolation of the Premier League title but you could see how desperate the Egyptian was to score in the final few matches of the campaign.

In the end, he finished four goals behind Jamie Vardy after the Liverpool star notched 19 goals.

But it seems he’s desperate to win that Golden Boot back during the 2020/21 campaign.

In Liverpool’s opening match against Leeds, Salah grabbed a hat-trick and is already leading the way in the goalscoring charts. He’s now scored 97 goals in 154 appearances since joining the club.

But it wasn’t just his goals that caught the attention. It was his overall performance.

And it was something that made Gary Neville sit up and take notice.

Speaking on Monday Night Football last night, the Manchester United legend was blown away by Salah against Leeds.

"There was a point in the game where I was watching Salah and I just thought, that is some player," Neville said.

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"Four years ago, when he first came to Liverpool and he got those 40-odd goals, I thought, 'That's a freak. He won't be able to live with that'.

"But then he consistently produces over a period of two or three years."

Salah probably doesn’t get the credit he deserves in this Liverpool side and many fans prefer the more selfless Sadio Mane. In fact, it was Mane - and not Salah - who made the PFA Team of the Season.

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But Neville believes Salah’s mentality is something that sets him apart from Mane - and everyone else.

"You think about the mentality difference between Mane and Salah," Neville added.

"Mane is likeable. I think the players probably love him, he gives his all every single day, he'll do the selfless thing for the team.

"Then you look at Salah over the other side. He doesn't pass sometimes to his team-mates. He's a little bit more selfish and a little bit less likeable because of that, probably to the fans and to his own team-mates.

"But then, I look at him as an outsider and I'm thinking that he is an absolute killer on the pitch.

"It reminds me of the twin tracking of [Cristiano] Ronaldo and [Wayne] Rooney in the mid-2000s. That's where Mane and Salah are now.

"I think Salah will end up going above Mane, not because Mane's not a great player, he is a great player as Rooney was, but the reason players [like Salah or Ronaldo] are different is that they have something up here which means that they go home at night and being the best player in the world rocks their world, whereas a Rooney or a Mane, they feel that the team's got to win, I've got to give my all, I'll fight for my team-mates. Salah doesn't do that."

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With Cristiano Ronaldo now 35 and Lionel Messi 33, the opportunity to take over as the best player in the world is there for a handful of superstars.

And Neville believes Salah is definitely in that bracket.

"[Kylian] Mbappe, he's fantastic. Neymar, he's a bit up and down a bit… Where is the best player in the world going to be in the next couple of years?” Neville asked.

"Salah is not far away from it anyway, but to me on Saturday he looked like an absolutely different level."

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