Former Egypt and Tottenham Hotspur striker Mido has backed Mohamed Salah to shrug off his poor form.
The Pharaohs star netted for his national team in their 4-1 win over eSwatini in a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier last weekend, but he was forced to miss the return match due to injury and is a doubt for Liverpool’s Premier League match against Huddersfield Town this Saturday.
The 26-year-old has had a run of poor form and bad luck ever since he suffered a serious shoulder injury in the infamous challenge with Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos in the UEFA Champions League final in May.
Salah struggled at the 2018 World Cup and had clearly not full recovered from injury, as Egypt slumped out of the tournament in disappointing fashion, and he has scored just three times in 11 Liverpool appearances this season.
Yet Mido believes the Reds forward, who netted 44 times across all competitions last term, will soon be back to his devastating best.
“I don’t think Salah gets affected by pressure,” Mido said in Dubai on Wednesday, at the launch of the fourth season of the du Football Champions and du Talents, the Middle East’s first sports-tech scouting platform.
“He’s a big boy now. He knows how to deal with the pressure. You see the penalty he scored in the last minute [in the qualifier against DR Congo] to get Egypt to the World Cup after 28 years – you could easily see that he’s a guy that doesn’t mind pressure. Sometimes in football pressure helps you.
“We all know the second season is always difficult. He had an exceptional season last season and now people are asking him to do the same, which is impossible. Only [Lionel Messi] and [Cristiano] Ronaldo can score 45 goals every year.”
Mido added, “He’s been a little bit unlucky with his injury during the World Cup and just before the World Cup, and it affected him a little bit.
“He’s an emotional boy. He got affected by what happened during the World Cup, that Egypt couldn’t make it through, that he couldn’t help the team.
“He just needs to do as he’s doing now, just keep his head down and keep working hard every day, and the good things will come, as it came last season. The only way to make it in football is to keep your head down and work hard.
“And he knows that. I’m sure he will get over this. But again, if Mohamed Salah ends up scoring 25-plus goals he’s still had a great season. So I’m sure he will get over this period. I’m sure he will get back to his top form very quick.”