Salah has been outstanding for Liverpool in 2018
Monday 24 December 2018 17:01, UK
Liverpool's Mohamed Salah is Sky Sports' standout Premier League star of 2018.
The Egyptian has enjoyed a dazzling 12 months with Jurgen Klopp's side, capping last season by winning the PFA and FWA Player of the Year awards and returning to top form in the new campaign.
His brilliant hat-trick against Bournemouth last weekend took him to the top of the Premier League scoring charts with 10 goals this season, and he is showing no sign of slowing down as Liverpool bid to finish the year above Manchester City at the top of the table.
With 15 goals in 15 Premier League appearances in the second half of last season, Salah sent records tumbling. His total of 32 beat the previous record of 31 in a 38-game Premier League season reached by Luis Suarez in 2013/14, Cristiano Ronaldo in 2007/08 and Alan Shearer in 1995/96. Salah outscored three entire teams and netted in a record 24 separate games.
Having scored 11 goals in 18 appearances in the new campaign, he is the Premier League's top scorer for 2018 with a total of 26 - three more than any other player. Salah has contributed 10 assists in the same period - meaning no one else has had a direct hand in more goals.
A deeper look at the statistics underlines his contribution even more. As well as leading the goal charts, Salah ranks among the top five Premier League players in 2018 for shots on target, chances created, clear-cut chances created and dribbles.
With his first goal against Bournemouth last weekend, he reached the 40-goal mark in the Premier League in fewer games (52) than any other Liverpool player.
There have been plenty. Salah's 2018 began with an outstanding long-range goal in Liverpool's memorable 4-3 win over Manchester City in January and he has continued in much the same vein ever since.
His four-goal haul in Liverpool's 5-0 demolition of Watford in January included two trademark strikes which followed bewitching dribbles, and there was an even more memorable example in the 2-2 draw with Tottenham in February, when he wriggled through a crowd of white shirts at Anfield before scooping a high finish over the advancing Hugo Lloris.
Salah endured Champions League final heartache as he was forced off with an injury in the defeat to Real Madrid, but there were goals in each of the previous knockout rounds, including in both legs of their quarter-final win over Manchester City.
Salah has shone in the competition again this season, scoring the goal against Napoli which sealed Liverpool's place in the last 16. In the Premier League, the hat-trick against Bournemouth was another highlight of an unforgettable year.
"The great thing about Mo Salah is he's always in with a shout of scoring, even when things weren't going right for him at the start of last season and at the start of this season, says Soccer Saturday pundit Phil Thompson.
"He always looks like he can score. He never seems to doubt himself and that's probably his greatest quality. He's always in there getting into positions to try and score a goal."