So Levy knew what he was doing all along. And Salah is off to Saudi

Published: Monday, 28 August 2023

It was Shreevesey who messaged me this weekend - tongue in cheek - suggesting that Daniel Levy knew what he was doing all along. 😂. I had to smile. But perhaps Levy did?

How pleased did Levy look when the tv cameras cut him up at Bournemouth? In fairness - he’s got a right to be happy. Spurs have had a great start and Ange-ball would appear to be a winner.

As regular readers know I’ve defended Levy many times. Not a popular stance I know, but I’ve always meant it. Levy has never failed to back a coach. They’ve all had money.  He’s always appointed what he believed to be the right individual. It’s true that hasn’t worked out very often, but Levy doesn’t pick teams nor send them out to play.

This time he might just have got it right and it doesn’t really matter whether it’s by luck or judgement. Spurs could have struck gold in Postacoglu. And the song is genius. Someone deserves a pat on the back for that.  

It’s early days, but it’s been a really good start. I’ve got just one observation - as good as Maddison has been in open play - his set-piece delivery has been poor. He’s got to sort that out. I’m sure he will. He’s a Cov Kid done good!

Now. Mo Salah. He’s definitely leaving Liverpool. I think we all agree on that. What we don’t know is when, but don’t be surprised if it’s this week. Or - perhaps everybody waits until the international break, but right now the deal to take him to the Saudi league is very much on.

You’ve got to understand that what we hear in our part of the world is very different to what’s being said in the U.K. We’re a whole lot closer to the source.

We were discussing what’s happening on beINSPORTS Sunday when phones started going off. Messages were being received from people bang in the middle of the deal telling us that they’d got so far as arranging a medical this week.

To be honest - I didn’t see that as significant. The Saudis would take Salah if he was on crutches recovering from an ACL, but it did tell me that there’s oxygen in the story, despite Klopp’s denials. And I’m not saying Klopp is lying - perhaps he doesn’t actually know again? It’s not too long since he announced Liverpool had signed Caicedo is it - and we all know what happened next.

If I’m Liverpool I’m selling. Who’d have thought it would be possible to get £80/£100m back on a 31-year-old whose been a wonderful servant - who’s now earning £350,000 a week, with his best days behind him. It’s madness. Take it.

Please don’t run away with the idea that I’m saying the deal is done. It isn’t. There are so many moving parts when a club is trying to get a ‘normal’ deal over the line - let alone one of this size. What we are being told may come to nothing in the short term - but if it’s not now it will eventually get done.

It’ll depend on how much Salah wants the move. Remember - he’s coming home. And what has he got to prove at Anfield? Liverpool are not even playing CL football this season, which I know is something that’s pissed him off.  

It’s difficult to read how Salah would’ve felt after the stunning win at Newcastle. Is he thinking ‘there’s life in this team yet’ or ‘that’s a nice way to bow out’.

If he leaves he’ll be earning money beyond his wildest dreams and he’ll be an Arabic poster-boy for something that the Saudi’s are clearly very serious about. It would be a massive statement on their part.

I laughed a couple of times at the line of questioning during Klopp’s press conference Friday. The indignation about the Saudi project was incredible. Not quite in these words, but this was the gist of the questioning ‘How dare a league come along and chuck money about - buying some of the best players in the world Jurgen?’ Really? You mean like the PL has done for 30 years?

No-one should underestimate what a hot bed of football the Middle East is. That’s been a big part of the problem - Brits have. Take my situation for example. I don’t sit here in exile as a lot of you would like to believe. I’m here by choice - and I love it.

I work for a far bigger broadcaster than I did in the U.K.  I have a much bigger job. Audiences are in the tens of millions not tens of thousands. We put up to 30 live games - from Spain, Germany, France as well as England - to air on any given weekend. Think about that - 30 lives games.

Clearly the Saudi’s want a piece of the action and I’m quite certain my employers have noticed. Saudi Arabia has a right to be involved in tv broadcasting - as long as their interest is legal.

Salah won’t be their last big signing. Remember - it was Saudi money behind the failed Super league. That wasn’t foiled by fans in England - it failed because PSG and Bayern said ‘no’.  

It strikes me this new league is another way into world football for them. What the end game is I have no idea - a 2030 WC bid maybe?

Only two things are certain right now - Salah will be part of the Saudi’s planning - and they are not going away.