Some fans may turn their noses up at the seemingly niche statistics that can be used to laud the performance of modern players. But Mohamed Salah is certainly a fan.
“He knows the numbers, he knows everything,” Salah’s Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp revealed in September. “He knows before all of us that there’s a record around the corner he can grab. He doesn’t need help there.”
And so, Salah will no doubt have been painfully aware that his measured assist for Cody Gakpo, serving up the equaliser in a 3-1 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday lunchtime, was the 200th Premier League goal he had either scored or assisted for Liverpool.
Only eight players in the 30-year history of the competition have ever racked up a double-century of goal contributions for one club. However, much to Salah‘s expected chagrin, he was not the quickest player to reach this impressive milestone.
Fewest appearances needed to rack up 200 Premier League goal contributions for one club
Thierry Henry was imperious during his time at Arsenal in the Premier League / Shaun Botterill/GettyImages
|Total goal involvements
|Matches to reach 200
Arsenal icon Thierry Henry needed just 206 Premier League appearances to be directly involved in 200 top-flight goals. Liverpool’s win over Wolves was Salah’s 223rd in the competition for the Reds.
Henry’s rapid accumulation of goals and assists is made all the more impressive given his struggles to acclimatise to the new role Arsene Wenger had carved out for him at Highbury. Henry registered just one goal and zero assists across his first 12 appearances in England’s top flight. In the same number of games, Salah had already been involved in 11 Premier League goals for Liverpool.
By his own admission, Henry had to be “re-taught everything about the art of striking” but things began to click from the end of November 1999 onwards.
While Henry’s grace and goals drew widespread acclaim – even from his contemporary strikers – the Frenchman’s selflessness was often overlooked. Henry claimed that he “wasn’t born with a gift for goals” but took great pleasure in setting them up. “The most beautiful thing is making the pass when you are in a position to score yourself,” Henry once mused. “You know you’re good enough to score but you give the ball. You share. And you see that joy in the eyes of the other guy. You know, he knows, everyone knows.”
At the end of the 2002/03 season, Henry racked up 24 league goals but also boasted a staggering haul of 20 assists – a tally which no other player has been able to better since – Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne only equalled it in 2019/20.
Salah’s creativity can also be clouded by his prolific edge. As Klopp explained: “He always had a quite decent number of assists. It’s just when you score 30-odd goals, it’s a side note that you have 15 or whatever assists. These numbers are really crazy over the years and it’s for us absolutely essential.”
The Egyptian forward didn’t find the net against Wolves but teed up Andy Robertson’s winner. Salah also rolled the ball back for Harvey Elliott to let rip at the end of the comeback win but was denied a hat-trick of assists due to a hefty deflection off Hugo Bueno.
All the way back in September 2020, Klopp gushed: “I’m surprised there are more records Mo Salah can break!” Three years on and Salah continues to scrawl his name all over the history books, keeping track of every imminent milestone on the horizon.