The former Gunners boss believes the Egyptian star has great potential but must become less selfish in front of goal
Liverpool star Mohamed Salah boasts similarities to Lionel Messi and can become even better if he tones down his obsession with goals, according to Arsene Wenger.
The ex-Arsenal coach, who recently hinted at a possible return to management in the international arena , believes the Reds attacker’s game has been comparable to Messi’s but has been still missing a few crucial ingredients.
Aside from a few more goals, Wenger also stressed Salah has to learn when to go for goal himself and when to pass it to a teammate.
“He’s 20 goals away basically, if you want to be as concrete as possible,” Wenger told beIN Sports .
“But he has been similar to Messi. He must still find the consistency of Messi. I find him a just as good finisher but Messi has been the complete thing – he gives the final round ball as well and Salah has been a bit obsessed now by finishing himself so that’s a dimension he’ll get certainly when he gets a little bit older. To find the moment when you have to give the round ball and when you have to finish.
“I like him very much, he has huge potential.”
In Liverpool’s recent 3-0 win over Burnley, Salah was criticised after failing to pass to Sadio Mane in the second half when his fellow attacker was in a far better position.
While Salah has been the star of the Reds frontline, Mane and Roberto Firmino have also been consistent performers for Jurgen Klopp’s side with Wenger praising the Brazilian striker in particular for his selfless style of play.
“You forget the guy that sacrifices himself a little bit has been Firmino,” he said.
“Like Luis Suarez did for Messi and Neymar. A guy that works for the team, that works for everybody and gets them to shine.
“This piece of the jigsaw has been very hard to find – a striker that has been generous.”
Since stepping aside from Arsenal in 2018, Wenger has avoided jumping straight back into management but admits he remains obsessed with the beautiful game.
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“I needed longer than I thought to take a distance from what I did before. To really let it settle,” Wenger said.
“I took a distance and realised I was living like somebody in a coma for 35 years and who woke up and saw something different in life other than just my club, my game and my work.
“I watch it still when I wake up in the morning – straight in my mind has been football. My main interest has been still there.”