Written by By Staff Writer
Welcome to our series spotlighting Premier League heroes. Join in with the hashtag #CNNPremierLeague.
The mainstream media often see art as “pure noise” and footballers, in particular, are often lumped together with pop stars, drag queens and bad actors.
To those who view the game through this lens, it is easy to think that England’s top flight is an absolutely massive circus — in a good way.
Too many so-called stars, they suggest, sacrifice everything and become just pretenders to the crown, turning out to be nothing more than an entertaining sideshow.
However, while this might be the case, this isn’t a representation of the absolute way in which the game is played.
In fact, for a global audience, the Premier League offers the definitive league — as many of the best players in the world only step out for the English top flight.
Here is a player and team that truly epitomize the thinking behind the Premier League’s development model.
Is Mohamed Salah the most underrated footballer in Premier League history?
When the English transfer window first opened this summer, Liverpool hoped that after all his hard work and sheer talent, a year out of the international spotlight would mean that star-crossed wonderkid Mohamed Salah could re-emerge.
It turned out that even that charm offensive failed to accelerate his progress.
The Egyptian was officially pushed back into the Liverpool team — but not for very long.
Salah still managed to turn in a stellar debut season for the Reds, featuring in 25 Premier League games (23 starts) with five goals and 13 assists.
He may not be making headlines, although the national team, for now, remains without a number of its finest players including Eden Hazard, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar.
But the fact that Salah proved to be just the missing piece for a rival side hungry for success without Salah suggests that he has earned the right to hang out in the shade and take the place of others.
“After coming back from the Euros this year, a few clubs tried very hard to get him in,” Salah’s agent Ramy Abbas told Sport Witness.
“Those are the risks you take to turn a player into a superstar.”
Salah is certainly capable of doing just that. He is the joint top goalscorer in the Premier League alongside Harry Kane and a playmaker in his own right.
The number of goals he has scored this season also shows just how much the former Roma player has developed.
In the season before his move to Anfield, Salah struck just nine times in 38 appearances.
For those who are quick to label Liverpool’s talisman as a one-trick pony, he might just turn out to be the most under-rated player in Premier League history.