After setting the Premier League alight with record haul of 33 Premier League goals during his debut season for Liverpool, Mohamed Salah was always going to have a lot to live up to in 2018/19.
Lovingly dubbed the 'Egyptian King' by the Anfield faithful, Salah wrote himself into Liverpool folklore by relentlessly finding the back of the net and winning countless individual awards in the process.
“Yes, I know we have one at home. This is a new one” pic.twitter.com/9q8L7fSOgB— Mohamed Salah (@MoSalah) May 12, 2019
In total, Salah registered a remarkable tally of 44 goals and 16 assists last season, numbers no one would have been expecting to be possible when you consider the fact that his only other experience of playing in England was for Chelsea between 2014 and 2015 - where he failed to make any sort of substantial impact and was quickly shipped out to Italy.
Liverpool strengthened their squad to make a tilt for the Premier League title last summer but they didn't tinker with the formula that brought them so much success at the top end of the pitch. This, of course, meant that the impetus would be on Salah to provide the goals once again - with a little help from Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino of course.
Salah did just that. He has ended the Premier League season with 22 goals to his name, which was enough for him to be crowned as the winner of the golden boot for the second consecutive season - sharing the title with Mane and Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
In doing so, Salah has become only the second Liverpool player in Premier League history to finish as the division's top scorer for two consecutive seasons, after Michael Owen initially achieved the same feat back in 1997/98 and 1998/99.
His goals were central to Liverpool's record points haul of 97 which, due to the undeniable brilliance of Manchester City, wasn't quite enough to secure a first Premier League title for the Reds. Despite all this, plenty have still inconceivably considered Salah's performances to have been sub-par this season.
Admittedly, there have been stages where Salah hasn't quite looked himself. For instance, he went six games without finding the back of the net between February and April, which led some to jump to the rash conclusion that he was indeed a 'one-season wonder' and that everything that had come before could simply be chalked off as a fluke.
Those sort of statements are simply bred from the fact that Salah was practically untouchable just a year before - any game he didn't score in would lead you to question why exactly that was the case.
It was clear to see that, in the wake of those aforementioned dry spells, Salah was almost trying too hard to reverse his shortcomings in front of goal. He'd hang on to the ball for a little longer than necessary, hesitate to pass to a teammate in a better position and would snatch at chances that he'd usually bury without so much as a pause for thought.
But, he did bring that barren run to an end and was as influential as ever for the Reds as they pushed City all the way to the final day of the season.
By way of comparison, players such as Raheem Sterling - who many argue is now the most complete player in the Premier League - has gone five games without scoring a goal on two separate occasions this season. No one is questioning Sterling's ability, so why is the same being done for Salah?
His omission from the PFA Team of the Year has certainly added more fuel to the fire. Mane, Sterling and Aguero were all selected ahead of him and, while it's fair to suggest that the trio were practically irreplaceable in the XI, that shouldn't be used as an argument to discredit the fact that Salah has enjoyed another fantastic season.
It's even more impressive to see him at the top of the goal scoring standings when you consider how much more influential Mane has been for the Reds this season. It's safe to say that there aren't too many teams in world football who can boast that they have two players who have netted over 20 league goals (and aren't even traditional strikers to boot).
Of course, Salah is far from being immortalised as a club legend just yet. He's performed superbly since arriving at Anfield, but the term 'legend' isn't thrown around lightly at Liverpool. After all, former stars Fernando Torres and Luis Suarez were two of the club's most talented stars of the 21st century, but you would be hard pressed to find a Liverpool supporter who would be willing to compare them to the likes of Robbie Fowler and Ian Rush.
The season is far from done just yet for Salah and Liverpool, as the Egyptian will have the opportunity to round the season off on a high in the Champions League final at the start of June.
After all, he has a few scores to settle when it comes to that stage of the competition.
Source : 90min