Mohamed Salah is beginning to have the same effect for Liverpool as Cristiano Ronaldo once had for Manchester United, according to Wayne Rooney.
Salah has played an integral role in Liverpool's transformation from also-rans into European champions and Premier League pace-setters over the last three years.
The Egyptian completed a £34 million ($42m) move to Anfield from Roma in the summer of 2017, and has since scored 91 goals in 144 appearances for the club. 20 of those efforts have come this season, with Liverpool now on the verge of winning a first league title in 30 years, under the stewardship of Jurgen Klopp.
Salah has formed one-third of a deadly attacking triumvirate alongside Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane which has blown away opposition defences on the domestic scene. The Reds have hit 66 goals in their opening 29 fixtures this term, the second-best record in the top flight, and need only two more victories to be confirmed as champions of England.
Rooney has credited Salah for being a constant threat for Liverpool in the final third, while highlighting similarities between the 28-year-old and five-time Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Juventus striker earned legendary status for his performances at United between 2003 and 2009 before being snapped up by Real Madrid, and Rooney thinks Salah strikes fear into defenders in the same way the Portuguese used to at Old Trafford.
United's all-time record scorer told The Times: “Mo Salah is starting to do what Ronaldo did for Manchester United, in terms of just being there and not really getting back to defend but always being a threat so that if you’re a defender or midfielder playing against him. You’re terrified of him on the counterattack.”
Salah will be back in contention for a place in Klopp's starting XI when Liverpool get back on the pitch for the first time in over three months against Everton on Sunday.
The Reds have only dropped points twice all season, and will be expected to get back to winning ways in a crucial Merseyside derby which will be held behind closed doors at Goodison Park due to the continued threat of coronavirus.