Roma owner James Pallotta claims that Liverpool owner John W Henry was “bitching about” paying £37m for Mo Salah last summer.
Pallotta has confirmed that no other club was showing such strong interest in the Egyptian winger and Henry suspected he had overpaid.
Salah has gone on to score 41 goals in 46 appearances and has been named PFA Player of the Year. He is one of three Liverpool players in our Pleasant Surprise team of the season.
Salah faces Roma for the first time in the Champions League semi-finals and Pallotta has been speaking to ESPN about his talks with Henry.
“He was sort of bitching a little about, ‘Did we overpay? I think we overpaid,'” Pallotta said. “And I said, ‘I’ll buy you lunch.’
“When you look at it now, you can say it’s an unbelievable bargain. The issue at the time was that when [Roma director of football] Monchi came in, Salah wanted to leave. He had a year left on his contract so in another year you’d get nothing.
“He wanted to go back and prove himself, which he certainly has done. We can’t tell you that anybody else was calling for Salah at anywhere near that kind of price, so there’s a lot of teams that have missed out on the great play he’s had this year.”
Asked if he has been surprised by Salah’s goal return, Pallotta said: “Honestly, yes.
“The reason is probably we utilised him differently than Liverpool have. They figured out the best way to utilise him
“At the time, we had him as a winger and you got Dzeko in the middle and Dzeko’s scoring 36 goals himself last year, so it’s not like we didn’t have someone in there tearing up the league last year.
“So with Dzeko there, it changed a lot of how Salah would be used, and they figured out how to use him a little differently and he’s much more in the middle it seems like.
“Where I’m surprised, is how great he’s finishing. I mean I think he would say that in Rome, while he had a bunch of goals, his frustration was not finishing the same way and now you get the ball near his feet and it just seems like he’s figured a way to put it in the net.
“Do they have bigger nets in the Premier League? It’s just been amazing watching him and every time he scores I’m like, ‘Oh, dear God.'”
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