Sports Illustrated’s Jamie FitzGerald (left) interviewed Liverpool soccer player Ahki Kaide Gordon in the SI House. Jamie FitzGerald/Skeptics in Progress
With the passing of Mo Salah, the world has lost an all-world talent and a real contender for Ballon d’Or honors.
The tall, graceful forward scored 44 goals for Liverpool last season and was a major reason for the club’s return to the Champions League. Salah was simply one of the best players in the world last season and he’s in many ways a modern-day version of the great Brazilian Pele.
But Mo Salah won’t be around to watch the remainder of the summer transfer window. He committed to a new deal with Liverpool worth €100 million (£92 million) over four years, which increases his annual salary to €15 million (£13 million) per season. Salah is one of the brightest young stars in soccer and many predict that one day he will lead the English Premier League’s free-spending side to success.
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But, of course, Salah didn’t come through the ranks of Liverpool’s youth system alone. He starred in the club’s youth program and won the Amex Development Award for being the top player in the game.
Liverpool reportedly finished in second place among Europe’s biggest clubs during 2015-16 and finished third in the Champions League behind defending champions Real Madrid and surprise finalists Manchester City.
Salah could’ve joined City, but the 24-year-old Egyptian insisted on moving to Liverpool on a contract that ties him to the club until 2024. There, he will be able to share the spotlight with French forward Naby Keita who is joining Liverpool from RB Leipzig.
Ekaterini Papastathopoulos / Getty Images
Even though Mo Salah probably won’t be on the show floor at the biggest shopping mall in the world, his success will inspire a new crop of rising stars to bring home some silverware for Liverpool.
Ahki Kaide Gordon is one such rising star. The 17-year-old was seen by many at Liverpool’s academy as the heir apparent to Salah in his position and it’s little wonder because the two are so similar. Like Salah, Kaide Gordon is an African born in Egypt who comes from a soccer family.
Like Salah, Kaide Gordon arrived at Liverpool in the age of 10. At that time, the Belgian-born player was known primarily for his flair, which led to a move to Belgian champion Anderlecht in 2013-14 when he turned pro.
Despite being a member of a top Belgian club, Kaide Gordon took a couple years to come into his own in Europe’s big leagues. This season he’s almost ready to take on a starring role in the Liverpool ranks and many believe he’s ready to be one of the stars at the 2018 World Cup.
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But whether or not he’ll continue in the Premier League when the league switches from the 5-8 week playing windows is yet to be determined.
Liverpool have been linked with Norwegian striker Marcus Berg and teenage Brazilian sensation Gabriel Jesus. Berg is expected to stay in Norway while Jesus is thought to be open to a transfer to one of the bigger clubs in England.
Ahki Kaide Gordon and the rest of the Premier League next season. Image by: Jamie FitzGerald/Skeptics in Progress
If a deal goes through for the Chelsea striker and the Inglaterra de Sao Paulo teenager are also on the way to Merseyside.
But before all that, Mo Salah’s legacy will be remembered forever.