Mohamed Salah (£8.6m) has set an immense standard for himself.
Since joining Liverpool, the Egypt international has averaged 31 goals per season in all competitions.
Naturally, this relentlessness has translated into Dream Team success on an almost unprecedented level – no player has produced more points since his return to the game in 2017.
And it’s because Salah has set such a high bar that he has occasionally faced criticism even when his output has been rather good.
The 30-year-old has copped more flak this season than in any other since he signed for the Reds with several high-profile pundits accusing him of falling off after agreeing to a lucrative new contract.
In some sense, the accusations have been valid.
With eleven goals in 25 appearances, 2022/23 looks set to be Salah’s least fruitful Premier League campaign in a Liverpool shirt yet.
However, it would be a stretch to describe him as anything close to average when considering the wider context, especially in the realm of Dream Team.
While Salah’s league tally may be no more than decent, he’s been positively prolific in the other competitions.
He’s scored eight goals in 534 minutes of Champions League action – no player has more in the competition at this stage – and he also bagged in the Carabao Cup and FA Cup before Liverpool’s relatively quick eliminations.
Outside of the Premier League, Salah has scored ten goals in eleven games at a rate of one every 74.3 minutes.
Combine all the competitions and the Reds’ No11 boasts a tally of 21 goals in 36 outings, a record most forwards would take a pay cut to guarantee.
And the Dream Team rankings make for even better reading.
At the time of writing, Erling Haaland (£9m) and Marcus Rashford (£6.5m) are the only assets with more points than Salah – and the former pair are arguably amid the best individual campaigns of their respective careers.
DREAM TEAM POINTS
- Haaland – 278 pts
- Rashford – 240 pts
- Salah – 211 pts
It’s possible that some critics have had their view of Salah skewed by Liverpool’s season as a whole, which has undoubtedly been underwhelming.
Bar an astonishing comeback against Real Madrid in the Champions League, the only thing Jurgen Klopp’s side will have to play for as the campaign reaches its climax is fourth place.
However, Dream Team managers know better than most to separate individuals from the teams they represent.
Salah sent out a potent reminder of his pedigree at the weekend as he banked 21 points at Man United’s expense – he was the lead architect of the 7-0 thrashing at Anfield.
More broadly, he’s taken 60 points from his last six games spread over four Game Weeks.
It appears reports of Salah’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.