Ex-Liverpool star Peter Crouch says he ‘could not begrudge’ Mohamed Salah if he wanted to join a Saudi club after missing out on Al-Ittihad move – but insists the Middle East is still ‘miles behind’ the big European leagues
- Peter Crouch says no one could begrudge Mo Salah for wanting a Saudi move
- The ex-Liverpool man said he had achieved ‘absolutely everything’ at Anfield
- Salah was subject of heavy interest from Al-Ittihad in the summer window
- Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s podcast It’s All Kicking Off!
Former Liverpool striker Peter Crouch insists he could not begrudge Mohamed Salah if he wanted a move to Saudi Arabia after the club rejected multiple bids from Al-Ittihad this summer.
Salah was courted by the Middle East outfit towards the end of the window, with the club reportedly offering £215million for the Reds’ star man, having already brought in players like Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante and ex-Liverpool midfielder Fabinho.
Speculation over Salah’s future balanced heavily on Liverpool, who were insistent that the player would not be sold so late in the window – and without time to replace him. The 31-year-old’s deal runs until 2025, so Liverpool will be in no rush to cash in on him at present.
Crouch, speaking ahead of Liverpool’s trip to Wolves this weekend, said he was pleased to see the Egyptian stay put but added if the opportunity arose to join a Saudi club in the future, he would not blame him having won ‘absolutely everything’ at Anfield.
‘I don’t think we could sit here and begrudge him if he did want a move,’ he told Mail Sport. ‘He’s won absolutely everything, he’s scored more goals than anyone in the Premier League for Liverpool.
Peter Crouch says he would not begrudge Mohamed Salah if he chose to join a Saudi club
Al-Ittihad – who have already signed stars like Karim Benzema – failed with an offer of £215m to prize away Liverpool’s star man
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‘It’s absolutely incredible what he’s achieved and he continues to achieve. Obviously with my Liverpool hat on I want him to stay for as long as possible because he shows no sign of letting up whatsoever.’
Crouch feels that Salah’s head has not been turned by the interest, however, and sees a happy player who is in superb form for the Reds this season – having scored twice and laid on two assists so far.
‘He got his head down and he performed [in the last game vs Aston Villa],’ he said. ‘He didn’t look to me that he was upset or downing tools. There was an element of him that would have been – not interested – but maybe asked for a conversation of course. But I think he looks more than happy where he is.’
The TNT pundit and ex-England international does believe the Salah saga will ‘rumble on’ into January and next summer, fearing that the allure of the Saudi Pro League could prove too strong.
But he added that if he were still a player in their prime, he would still pick the big European Leagues over a move to the Middle East.
Crouch believes Salah is ‘more than happy’ to stay at Anfield despite missing out on a lucrative move to the Middle East
Neymar is among the big names who have jetted to Saudi this summer but Crouch feels that most players in their prime are still attracted to the European leagues
‘This is something that’s going to rumble on,’ he added. ‘I don’t think it’s something that’s just going to go away. They’ve proven, the teams in the Saudi League, that if they want someone, they invariably get them.
‘I think [Salah] will be totally dedicated to Liverpool’s cause, but I think it might work for both parties really if they get a big fee for him (next year). And for Salah, obviously it’s the financial gain of playing in Saudi Arabia.
‘If you’re a 31 year old that has won everything and you have one last pay day – we all know the reason people are going there. That’s not going to change. The amount of good players they are buying, that league will become competitive.
‘Let’s be honest, it’s miles behind the level you’d want to be as a young player. If I’m 21 or 22 and I’ve got the chance to go to Real Madrid or the Saudi League, of course you’d choose Madrid unless you’re financially motivated.’
Peter Crouch was speaking ahead of Wolves v Liverpool, which will be shown live and exclusive on TNT Sports 1 from 11am on Saturday, 16th September. TNT Sports is available through its streaming destination discovery+ and across all major TV platforms. This isn’t Just Sport, This is Everything. For more info visit: tntsports.co.uk/football
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