Slot prioritising £60m “superstar” who’d be Liverpool’s dream Salah heir

    Nothing in football is certain but it does seem probable that Mohamed Salah will serve at the front of Liverpool‘s new era under Arne Slot‘s leadership next season.

    The esteemed Egyptian has been one of Europe’s most deadly forwards over the past seven years, and while he’s entering the final year of his contract on Merseyside and remains of a vested interest to the Saudi Pro League, the 31-year-old, as per David Ornstein, is expected to stay for “at least another campaign”, with his “contract to be addressed in due course”.

    It’s a good thing too. With Jurgen Klopp‘s reign now over, it may prove detrimental to lose his long-time talisman at the same time. He petered out at the end of the 2023/24 campaign but Salah still scored 25 goals and supplied 14 assists in all competitions.

    Still, there will come a point when Salah no longer plies his trade on Anfield’s turf, and so it makes sense that FSG are prudently moving to sign a new wide forward this summer.

    Liverpool lining up Salah successor

    According to Leeds Live, Liverpool have pulled out of the race to sign Leeds United winger despite emerging as the early frontrunners, leaving Chelsea in the clear to secure a swoop for the dynamic Dutchman.

    Why is this relevant? Well, according to the report, Liverpool’s decision to end their interest has seen the focus shift their ‘priorities’ toward Crystal Palace’s Michael Olise, who has a £60m release clause in his contract and is one of the Premier League‘s most coveted players after an extraordinarily good season.

    The right winger, aged 22, is also being chased by the Blues and Manchester United, but Liverpool are the only mentioned suitors to boast Champions League football, with the on-pitch and financial benefits leaving Slot and FSG in a promising position.

    Michael Olise’s season in numbers

    Few Premier League players can boast seasons better than that of Olise, who managed to emerge as one of the standout stars despite his year being punctuated by injuries that limited him to just 14 starts.

    Nonetheless. Olise managed to transcend the exciting exploits of the previous season – scoring only twice but supplying 11 assists across 37 Premier League fixtures – to foster and hone his talents and leave the division’s biggest names giddy with dreams of his signature.

    As per Sofascore, the £100k-per-week winger scored ten goals and supplied six assists from his 19 total appearances, creating nine big chances and averaging 1.9 key passes, 2.1 dribbles and 5.7 won duels per game to underscore his versatility.

    Moreover, he ranks among the top 10% of attacking midfielders and wingers across Europe’s top five leagues over the past year for interceptions and clearances per 90, as per FBref, emphasising the rounded game that would serve Liverpool and Slot tremendously.

    Crystal Palace star Michael Olise.

    As Palace went from strength to strength under Oliver Glasner’s tutelage in 2024, so too did Olise deepen the argument that, yes, he is one of the Premier League’s superlative forwards, a credit to Selhurst Park and a future world-beater at the apex of the game.

    Pundit Micah Richards claimed this season that he “is going to be world-class… he’s going to be a superstar“. Olise is the real deal and he would be the perfect player to eventually replace Salah, though it would be wonderful if Slot could wield the phenoms in tandem next year.

    How Olise could replace Salah

    Olise doesn’t appear to have the same level of inborn goalscoring quality as Salah, but then, with ten goals in just 14 Premier League starts this season, it’s hard to argue against his ability to lift the crowd from their seats with consistency and quality.

    However, Olise did massively outperform his xG (expected goals) in England’s top divisions this term, with an expected strike return of 5.69, as per Understat.

    Mohamed Salah: PL Scoring Stats (19/20 – 23/24)





    xG per 90




    21.94 (+3.94)





    23.34 (+4.34)





    24.36 (+1.36)





    20.25 (-1.75)





    20.66 (+1.66)


    Stats sourced via Understat

    Salah, conversely, has actually underperformed his xG across four of the past five Premier League campaigns, though is still universally accepted as one of football’s elite finishers. Why is this?

    Well, Salah might be an adept shooter but the real locus of his power derives from his flawless positioning, always alert, always hungry. He ranks among the top 1% of attacking midfielders and wingers across Europe’s top five leagues over the past year for touches in the attacking penalty area and the top 2% for shots taken per 90, records FBref.

    The Egyptian is a born goalscorer. It is the heart and soul of his skill set. Olise, however, might have reaped brilliant goalscoring rewards this year but he is not the same type of player, instead bringing an inventive and vibrant approach to his football.

    But that’s okay. Slot loves wingers. They are so important to the functionality of his build-up structure and game-winning execution. Simply trying to replace Salah with someone who can offer consistently matchable shooting success would be built on a house of cards, but Olise would offer an evolved, more appropriate skill set to spearhead a new chapter, led by a new head coach.

    Crystal Palace star Michael Olise

    The caveat to a potential deal is of course the France U21 international’s weary fitness record, with sidelined players of elite-level pedigree something that Liverpool fans have been frustrated by in excess over these past several years, but if Olise manages to weave past this Achilles heel, he would shape into one of Europe’s leading forward’s.

    Therefore, Liverpool must pull no punches in their quest to sign the perfect Salah successor. Fit and firing indefinitely, there are few more exciting than Olise.


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