Three years ago on June 22, Liverpool announced the signing of Mohamed Salah with a video that immediately won the hearts of the Anfield faithful.
His signature cheeky grin only took about 15 seconds to make him a favourite, but for all the excitement his arrival generated, had we known what was to come, the fanfare would have been far, far greater.
He’s broken records left and right, and and as he shows no signs of slowing down, here are some of the key numbers that sum up an incredible first three years.
Liverpool’s record signing
Your heart has to go out to the Chelsea fan, who came steaming in within seconds to tell Liverpool that they had overpaid on a player who had failed to make the grade under José Mourinho.
£39m was a club record fee at the time, eclipsing the £35m spent on Andy Carroll, but we’d venture Salah has shown a little more value for money than the big Geordie since.
Liverpool’s first Egyptian player
In taking to the pitch against Watford in the opening day of the 2017/18 season, he became the first Egyptian ever to play for Liverpool, after becoming only the sixth in the league’s history with Chelsea in 2013.
He scored one and assisted another in what was a sign of things to come…
First Liverpool player to score 10 goals in a UCL campaign
When you think of vintage Salah performances, it’s hard not to cast your mind back to the 5-2 victory over Roma at Anfield on the way to the 2018 Champions League final.
He was respectful to his former employers in everything but his actual performance, which saw him tear them to shreds and put the Reds within touching distance of Kiev.
Alongside his two assists, he netted two goals – taking him to 10 in a single Champions League campaign, the first time a Liverpool player has ever achieved such a feat.
Most PL Goals in a single season
His first season was, to put it plainly, ridiculous. In netting his 32nd league goal of the campaign against Brighton on the final day, he secured the Premier League golden boot – and set the new record for goals in a 38-game season.
Taking a pass from Dominic Solanke (remember him?) he drove the ball low past a rooted Mat Ryan, putting the finishing touch on a show-stopping league campaign.
Most goals in a debut season for Liverpool
His first year back in England also saw him break the Liverpool record for goals in a single season – by nine.
He broke the record outright with a four-goal showing against Watford as far back as March, on his way to racking up 44 goals in 52 appearances.
Fastest Liverpool player to half a century
No player in Liverpool history has hit 50 goals in all competitions quicker than Salah, who did it stylishly, in a 4-0 drubbing of Red Star Belgrade at Anfield.
Double in his 100th appearance
How else do you mark your 100th appearance than with a couple of goals?
As the 2018/19 season – which seems a long time ago now – was reaching its conclusion, Liverpool were in no mood to give Manchester City any breathing space, and thanks to another signature Salah performance, they put Huddersfield to the sword.
His second – running onto a Trent Alexander-Arnold long ball and selling out Jonas Lossl with a teasing lob – is one of the most aesthetically pleasing goals you’ll see.
Second fastest UCL final goal
It took Mohamed Salah just 108 seconds to open the scoring in the Champions League final against Tottenham Hotspur in Madrid. It is the second-fastest goal in the competition’s history behind Paolo Maldini’s strike in 2005 in Istanbul.
Spurs probably knew they were beaten within two minutes of the Champions League final, as they had barely touched the ball when a penalty was given against them.
Dubious as it was, it set the tone. It was poetic justice for what happened to the Egyptian a year prior, and saw him score the second quickest goal ever in a European Cup final.
Most goals in first 100 League appearances
Moving into the current season, prior to Salah, Fernando Torres’ 63 goals was the most any Liverpool player managed in their first 100 league appearances.
The Egyptian hit 70, comfortably dismissing the existing club record.
Southampton were the unfortunate witnesses to this one, and witnesses is what they were, as the Reds overran them with a 4-0 win at Anfield.
Only Alan Shearer, whose 79 goals in 100 games will likely never be broken, can boast a superior strike rate.
20 Goals in three consecutive seassons
Salah’s equalising goal against Bournemouth just before the break took him to 20 in all competitions – meaning he has now done so in three successive seasons.
Neither Fernando Torres or Luis Suárez managed that, with Michael Owen, in 2003, the last player to do so for Liverpool.