Joe Cole names Mohamed Salah as Premier League’s best player this season and predicts top four

Mohamed Salah looks on during Liverpool's Premier League clash with Chelsea

Mohamed Salah has notched up 16 goals and nine assists in the league this season (Picture: Getty)

Joe Cole has named Mohamed Salah as the standout player in the Premier League at the midway stage of the campaign and says the Liverpool forward is the closest he’s ever seen to Lionel Messi in his prime.

Salah, 29, has returned to his frightening best in recent months and is the top scorer in the English top flight by some distance with 16 goals in 22 games for Liverpool this term.

The Egyptian, currently away on international duty at AFCON, has also registered nine assists and is the clear favourite to scoop the PFA Player of the Year award which he previously won after an outstanding debut season on Merseyside back in 2017/18.

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Bernardo Silva is widely considered to be Salah’s nearest competitor for the prize after a superb start to the campaign with Manchester City and Cole is a huge admirer of the Portugal international, who has racked up seven goals and an assist.

But the ex-England and Chelsea winger believes Salah is currently head and shoulders above the rest, telling JOE: ‘A few weeks ago I think we said Bernardo Silva. But it can only be one man, for me. I think he’s the best player in the world at the moment and it’s Mo Salah.

‘He’s having four weeks off playing in the Africa Cup of Nations, but he’s still top of the scoring charts. I love him, I absolutely love him.

‘I don’t think anyone will ever get close to Messi in his prime. I think that’s going to be a long, long time before we see that kind of level, but he’s the closest I’ve seen to it at the moment.

‘How long he can sustain this… some of the goals he has scored are incredible.’

Joe Cole looks on

Cole expects Manchester United to finish fourth (Picture: Getty)

Attentions have naturally turned to this year’s intriguing race for a top-four finish given Pep Guardiola’s all-conquering City side have opened up an imperious nine-point lead over Liverpool at the summit.

West Ham, Arsenal and Tottenham remain firmly in the mix, but Cole expects fourth-placed Manchester United to hold onto the final Champions League spot.

‘I agree [that Manchester United will finish fourth] and the main reason I agree is Spurs are absolutely miles off it,’ he added.

‘I did the game against Chelsea and I spoke to Conte afterwards, we interviewed him, and I think he’s under no illusions about the task ahead with that group of players.

‘Three times they’ve lost to Chelsea and they’ve not scored a goal and I asked, “Are you hopeful of doing business now in January or in the summer?”, and he immediately took control of the interview.

‘He said, “Listen, this is a three-year project at least. I’m happy with my players, they fought so hard, but you can see the difference”, and I thought it was brilliant, he was honest.

‘By saying that, he’s almost saying to Daniel Levy, “Come on, what can I do with this group of players?”, so that suggests to me he is staying as long as Daniel Levy shows him the money.’


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