Football has always operated under the assumption that any player almost becomes a year-to-year proposition after they enter their 30’s, and that can be true for forwards at the top level where pace is so important.
A lot has changed in recent years with some players taking greater care of their bodies than ever, while advances in science and nutrition does mean that some are able to perform at incredible levels well into their 30s.
Liverpool face a huge decision soon with Mohamed Salah as his contract expires in the summer of 2023, and Football Insider have reported that his representatives are looking for a deal worth £500k per week to keep him at the club for the rest of his best years.
You never want a player to enter the final year of their deal so something will probably need to be sorted by the end of the season, while Salah does turn 30 in the summer so usually, that would reduce his leverage in this situation.
From Liverpool’s point of view, you could almost understand it if they wanted to find an excuse to take a big fee for him now and move on, but it’s just not an option when he continues to prove that he is one of the best players in the world, and it would probably take a giant fee and a similar wage to find a replacement.
Something else to bear in mind would be the club’s current wage structure – contract details aren’t always publically available, but a report from Sport Bible earlier in the year did claim that Salah was the highest earner at that point with a package of £200k per week.
There have been renewals since then so there could be some players who earn more, but it’s reasonable to think they may need to smash their wage budget to more than double what the current highest earner is one to keep the Egyptian superstar around.
This is a decision where the correct answer will only become clear with hindsight as it would be a disaster if his form falls off a cliff and suddenly Liverpool are lumbered with his contract for years at that rate, but it’s hard to come up with an argument against trying him down to a new deal right now.