Jose Mourinho’s declaration that £300 million was “not enough” to spend in the market in order to compete with a Manchester City side who “buy full-backs for the price of strikers” placed transfer fees on the agenda this week, even before Liverpool’s head-spinning outlay on Virgil van Dijk ensured it remained the talking point.

On Saturday at Anfield, the world’s most expensive defender - whose £75 million switch from Southampton becomes official on January 1 - watched on as the club’s previous record signing continued to supply evidence of his status as a certified bargain in a 2-1 victory over Leicester City.

Roma received an initial £36.9 million from the Reds for Mohamed Salah in the summer, a figure that seemed a steal at the time and now looks utterly absurd.

The Egypt international has 23 goals in all competitions this season, which is more than eight Premier League clubs - Crystal Palace, Burnley, Brighton, Swansea, West Bromwich, Huddersfield, Southampton & Newcastle - have managed.

He has been directly involved in 22 successful efforts in 21 top-flight appearances this season, contributing 17 goals and five assists.

As Leicester found to their detriment in their final fixture of the year, it’s a taxing - and very rarely triumphant - task to deny Salah in front of the sticks.

He should have scored twice in the first half but didn’t, and in the second stanza with Liverpool desperate for the game to swing their way, he delivered. And delivered again.

Having gifted Leicester an early lead with their latest example of self-sabotage at the back, allowing Claude Puel's side to defend deeper and time-waste from then on, it was starting to feel like one of those afternoons for Jurgen Klopp where his charges do absolutely everything, but the decisive bit in the final third.

But on 52 minutes, a delightful Sadio Mane backheel saw Salah cut in on his left foot and beat Kasper Schmeichel to equalise.

Liverpool pushed on and the 25-year-old gratefully accepted his role as their rescuer again by powerfully turning Harry Maguire to drill into the near corner.

Another winner and another record for the attacker, who matched Roger Hunt’s tally of 23 goals before the new year, which was originally set in 1961-62.

Liverpool’s catalogue of errors in the third minute which led to Jamie Vardy's opener had many critics nodding in agreement at Liverpool's need to break the bank for Van Dijk.

Joel Matip panicked under pressure from Demarai Gray to send a sloppy pass towards Emre Can, with the midfielder’s hesitation allowing Vicente Iborra to easily skip past him and spread the ball to Riyad Mahrez on the left.

Andy Robertson then failed to thwart the Algerian and the England striker buried his seventh goal against the Merseysiders.

Salah’s contribution, meanwhile, will have even more onlookers wondering just how he was secured at such a ridiculous cost in a climate of spiralling amounts.

There can’t be any arguments - if it was Salah that fetched a fee of £75m, it will have still represented bargain business for Liverpool.


This story has been reproduced from today's media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.