The stunning £158m signing Liverpool could replace Mohamed Salah with - according to Football Manager
Liverpool star Mohamed Salah continues to be linked with a big-money move to Saudi Arabia, and questions remain over who the Reds could replace him with.
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How could Liverpool replace a man that has scored 188 goals and provided 81 assists in 309 games since moving to Anfield in 2017?
A forward that has helped them lift the Champions League, FIFA World Club Cup, Carabao Cup and FA Cup, as well as ending their long wait to claim a Premier League title. An 88-times capped star that has been named as Premier League player of the year on two occasions and has been the division’s top goalscorer in three seasons.
Thankfully for Reds supporters, it seems unlikely that question will need answered this week as Mo Salah looks set to remain at Anfield despite the best efforts of Saudi club Al-Ittihad, who are determined to prise him away from the red half of Merseyside.
But how would Jurgen Klopp replace the Egyptian international if he was to lose his services over the coming months? We fired up Football Manager 2023 and the world’s most popular managerial simulation predicts none other than Victor Osimhen will head to Anfield to take over from Salah as Klopp’s main goalscoring threat. Here is how he got on during his first season!
A Goodison goal - but it’s a slow start to life at Anfield
After finding the net on three occasions in pre-season, Osimhen made a surprisingly underwhelming start to life as a Red as he failed to score in a 2-0 home win against Brentford, a 3-1 defeat at Chelsea and a 2-1 home win against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
A first goal arrived in memorable circumstances as the Nigerian striker opened the scoring against Everton at Goodison Park - but it gained little reward as goals from Dwight McNeil and Dominic Calvert-Lewin gave the Toffees a 2-1 win over Jurgen Klopp’s side.
After another four goalless games, Osimhen found the net once again in a defeat as he grabbed a consolation goal in a 3-1 defeat at Manchester City as Liverpool ended the second month of the season in eighth place in the Premier League table.
The new Red gets a red - but bounces back in fine style
The Reds made a winning start to October as Luis Diaz’s goal was enough to see off Bournemouth at Anfield - but it was another negative day for Osimhen after he was shown a straight card for an elbow on Lloyd Kelly.
Finally, after serving a three-match suspension, there was some positivity and something to shout about for the striker as he marked his comeback in stunning style with two goals in a 4-0 win at Manchester United. That sparked a fine run of form as Osimhen netted the only goal in a 1-0 home win against West Ham United, the final goal of a 3-0 win at Tottenham Hotspur and another brace in a 2-0 home victory against Crystal Palace.
Top of the tree at Christmas - but there’s a major blow coming
Liverpool and their start frontman continued their impressive upturn in form into the crucial Christmas period as the Nigerian scored in an impressive away win at Nottingham Forest before setting up two goals for Luis Diaz as there was a revenge win against Everton at Anfield.
That win over the Toffees took Klopp’s men to the top of the table as 2023 turned to 2024 and Osimhen’s momentum continued to build as he scored in an FA Cup third round win over Cardiff City, a 3-1 home victory against Premier League title rivals Manchester City and a 2-1 home win in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final against Chelsea.
However, disaster was to strike by the time the second leg was played after Osimhen suffered a broken leg in a 4-0 win at Brighton. The striker had grabbed the opening goal of what would a fine away day for his side but his season was all but ended when he was taken off following a horror challenge from Seagulls skipper Lewis Dunk.
Progress made in Osimhen’s absence
The loss of their star signing did little to quell Liverpool’s push for success on a number of fronts as goals from Dominik Szoboszlai and Diogo Jota gave them a 2-0 win over Brentford in the Carabao Cup Final.
An unbeaten run stretching to 12 games took Klopp’s men into serious contention for the Premier League title as Jota continued to find the net with regularity - but two draws with West Ham and Newcastle saw the Premier League trophy raised at Manchester City on the final day of the campaign.
But there was further silverware for Klopp and his men and a positive end to the season for their star signing as Osimhen removed the plaster cast and came off the bench in the FA Cup Final to grab the winning goal in a 2-1 victory against Arsenal.