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Race for the Golden Boot: Mohamed Salah

25 Mar 2019

Phil Neville says last season's winner is just as valuable to Liverpool despite recent struggles

The race for the 2018/19 Premier League Golden Boot is wide open with six players separated by only three goals.

Former Manchester United and Everton defender Phil Neville looks at the strengths of the leading contenders. 

Mohamed Salah: 17 goals

Salah is only one goal off the pace as he looks to join an exclusive club of Premier League top goalscorers.

The Liverpool forward has scored 17 times this season and, if he overtakes Sergio Aguero and the chasing pack, he will become only the fifth player in PL history to retain the Golden Boot.

Salah made history last season when his 32 goals were the most ever scored in a 38-match season.

And while he is unlikely to match that total in 2018/19, Neville believes by becoming a "marked man" Salah has actually benefited Liverpool, who are top of the table and chasing their first PL title.

"He's been doubled up on," says Neville. "There have been times when there are three defenders around him.

"This is probably the reason why [Sadio] Mane has scored more goals this year, because it's freed up other players in the team."

Salah is currently on a run of five matches without a goal, which is the longest of any player challenging for the Cadbury award.

Liverpool host third-placed Tottenham Hotspur in their next match and must also visit Chelsea in Matchweek 34.

But Neville says even the top defenders of these teams will find it tricky to stop the "world-class" Egyptian.

"Salah has that ability to drift in from that right-hand side," says Neville. "Defenders know he's going to do it but they can't do anything about it.

"His finishing is absolutely world-class and Liverpool are lucky to have him."

Also in this series 

Part 1: Race for the Golden Boot: Raheem Sterling
Part 3: Race for the Golden Boot: Sadio Mane
Part 4: Race for the Golden Boot: Harry Kane
Part 5: Race for the Golden Boot: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Part 6: Race for the Golden Boot: Sergio Aguero

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