Liverpool star Salah and Kerr win English football writers’ awards
Mohamed Salah (top) is challenged by Villarreal’s Pervis Estupinan in the Champions League semi-final; (R) Sam Kerr celebrates the goal scored. AP/Reuters
Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah was named England’s Male Footballer of the Year in the Football Writers’ Association (FWA) annual vote on Friday, with the Egypt international winning the award for the second time.
Salah, who also won in 2018, took 48% of the vote, ahead of Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne and West Ham United’s Declan Rice, second and third respectively.
The 29-year-old has 30 goals and 14 assists in 44 games for Liverpool this season and remains a key part of Juergen Klopp’s side, who are one point behind leaders Manchester City in the Premier League with five games remaining.
Chelsea striker Sam Kerr won the Women’s Footballer of the Year award with 40% of the vote, beating Arsenal striker Vivianne Miedema and City’s Lauren Hemp.
Australian international Kerr is the Women’s Super League top scorer this season with 18 goals.
Sam Kerr of Chelsea (L) celebrates his second goal. Reuters
Salah and Kerr, 28, are due to receive their awards at the Footballer of the Year dinner in London on May 5.
FWA President Carrie Brown said: “Mo and Sam have been exceptional this season, breaking records for club and country.
“In addition to their performances on the pitch, they are leaders and standard bearers of excellence in their respective clubs and leagues.”
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola praised Salah but linked the compliment with what could be seen as a setback to Klopp.
“Congratulations to Salah. Jurgen said they have the best goalkeeper, the second best goalkeeper in the world, the best central defender, the best midfielder, the best striker. So it is normal that they win all the awards” , did he declare.
Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah in action. Reuters
Meanwhile, Klopp says he doesn’t believe his new deal will be the deciding factor in whether star strikers Salah and Sadio Mane commit to their long-term future with the club.
Salah and Mane, along with fellow striker Roberto Firmino and midfielder Naby Keita, have contracts that expire next year.
With Klopp now staying until 2026, there is a greater degree of security at the club, but the German isn’t convinced that will make a huge difference to individual player decisions.
“If it’s a positive sign for the boys, so much the better, but I don’t think it will be the only decisive thing for the decision they want to make,” he said on Friday.
“It’s their own life but we just wanted to make sure anyone who wants to be here knows what to expect.”
Egypt international Salah, whose negotiations have dragged on for several months, admitted last week he was uncertain whether he would stay at Anfield, stressing the decision was not just about money.
But Klopp said he did not pass judgment on players’ loyalty based on their willingness to go elsewhere.
“If a player tells you early enough that he wants to leave, you have to deal with it,” Klopp said.
“I don’t judge people whether they’re loyal or not if they say during a contract ‘I want to go somewhere else and see what the weather is like or how the grass is over there’.
“It’s not. I think you see loyalty in other areas.”