Liverpool latest news: Ronaldo, Messi & Zlatan prove Mohamed Salah is going nowhere

Liverpool star Mohamed Salah celebrates after scoring versus Watford

Emmet Gates has suggested Liverpool star Mohamed Salah could go on playing at the highest level into his mid-30s. 

The journalist drew comparisons with Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Zlatan Ibrahimovich to claim footballers have a much longer shelf-life in the modern game. 

What’s the latest news involving Mohamed Salah?

There’s a pretty strong case for Salah being the top talent in world football at the moment. 

A sizzling start to the season has seen him net twelve times in just eleven appearances across all competitions, including a return of five in three in the Champions League. 

But as impressive as the quantity of Salah’s goals has been the quality of them. Salah followed up an incredible solo effort against Manchester City with a similarly stunning individual goal versus Watford, slaloming between a plethora of defenders before finishing at an incredibly acute angle. 

Nonetheless, Salah will turn 30 before the end of the season and considering speed and power form a crucial part of his skillset, there’s a debate to be had about how long he can perform at his current level for. 

However, Gates believes the Egypt international could well continue playing into his mid-30s. 

What has Emmet Gates said about Mohamed Salah’s longevity?

When asked by GIVEMESPORT whether Salah could perform at the highest level well beyond 30, Gates responded positively, describing the Reds talisman as an ‘ultra-athlete’ and arguing that top players tend to go on for longer these days. 

The journalist told GMS: “You only have to look at him when he scored recently and he took off his shirt and there was just muscles. His muscles had muscles! He’s obviously an ultra-athlete and takes good care of himself as most professional footballers need to do.

“You have players like Zlatan Ibrahimovic still playing at Milan until he’s 40. You have Cristiano Ronaldo at 36, Messi’s soon to become 35, still performing at the highest level. So I think the days of players peaking maybe at 30, 31 and then it’s all downhill are in the past.” 

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Do top footballers have a longer shelf-life in the modern game?

It does seem that age is becoming less of a factor and especially for forwards. Traditionally, most forwards would be expected to ‘slow-up’ around or shortly after their 30th birthday, particularly if they relied heavily on pace. 

But of the 12 players to score at least six goals in any of Europe’s five leading top flights this season, seven are aged 29 or older. Likewise, of the top 25 goalscorers, 12 are at least 29. 

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That also rings true in the Premier League, arguably the most physically demanding top flight in the world, with six of this season’s top ten goalscorers aged 29 or older.

Compare that to 2015/16 and there is a clear difference. That season, just three of the top ten were aged 29 or older and only one – Jermain Defoe – was in his 30s. 

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