The speed from out wide, the ankle-turning close control, an almost aloofness to their own brilliance, the parallels between Mohamed Salah and Lionel Messi are quite easy to draw on an aesthetic level.
With his four-goal haul against Watford, the Kop’s Egyptian king took his tally to 28 in the Premier League, set new records for a Liverpool player in his debut season and staked a hell of a claim to be considered as the player of the year, as we head into awards season.
After the game, Jurgen Klopp addressed the Messi comparisons that have taken over social media, diplomatically claiming Salah was ‘on his way’ to greatness, while also attempting to play down the bubbling hype.
“I don’t think Mo wants to be compared with Lionel Messi,” Klopp said. “Messi has been doing what he’s been doing for what feels like 20 years or so.”
And that’s just it. Messi is such a unique force simply because he’s kept it up for so long. Near-incomparable longevity is the key to Messi’s success.
However, while the five-time Ballon d’Or winner is seemingly off the table of reasonable football debate, when it comes to finding similarities, one man Salah surely did fully emulate on Saturday afternoon in the snow at Anfield was Luis Suarez - the finest Liverpool player of the last five years.
Salah is now the first Reds player to hit four in a Premier League match since ‘King Luis’ tortured Norwich in front of the Kop back in December of 2013.
Suarez, prolific against most teams during his spell in England, had such a thing for Norwich - he scored 12 times in five games against the Canaries - that keeper Jon Ruddy joked on Twitter that he should have received a cut of Barcelona’s £75million transfer fee to Liverpool.
The now Barça’s star’s finest performance in a Liverpool shirt was quite possibly his four-goal outing against Norwich that December. With his confidence at a delirious high, all four strikes were works of art.
With his all action display against Watford that combined the beautiful and the dogged, the brilliant and the belligerent, Salah - who, at his best, does everything but sell match day programmes - has now had his ‘Norwich moment’ for Liverpool.
Again, there are aesthetic and positional similarities between the two players, particularly the twisting runs that level defenders to the ground like a magic spell. However, more than just any particular movement, skill or goals it is the sheer force of will that links the two players; an unstoppable energy that drives the team, as well as his own performance.
Two more goals before the season ends will see Salah become the first Liverpool player since Suarez to score 30 Premier League goals in a single campaign.
The most any Liverpool player has ever managed (in all competitions) in a single season is 47 - achieved back in 1984 by Ian Rush.
With seven Premier League fixtures left, plus at least two in the Champions League, if Salah (currently on 36) can match or better the record of club’s greatest ever goalscorer, Liverpool fans surely won’t care much about the Messi talk.