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How essential is Salah from Gameweek 30 onwards?

Without a league start since New Year’s Day, Mohamed Salah (£13.1m) seems ready to do so in Gameweek 30 and this, naturally, is leading to FPL interest.

The Liverpool star missed four Gameweeks with a hamstring injury, hauled in his comeback cameo at Brentford, but missed the following two with muscle problems. However, a brief run out against Manchester City preceded a goal and three assists in the Europa League, before netting in an FA Cup defeat to Manchester United.

As a bonus to such enticing form, Salah is not on international duty with Egypt. An agreement was reached to leave him out of their friendly tournament, allowing him time to fully recover.

So will he soon return to essential status in FPL circles, or are budgets better used elsewhere?

TRANSFER RUSH

Salah Gameweek 30

At the time of writing, Salah is already far in front as the most-bought player since Gameweek 29. Over 250,000 managers have proved they can’t resist FPL’s top scorer from 2021/22, 2018/19 and 2017/18, a man whose last six seasons have all ended with at least 231 points.

Furthermore, this campaign has already brought 15 goals, nine assists and 168 points.

Nobody has created more big chances (19), only Erling Haaland (£14.3m) has a higher expected goal involvement (xGI) tally (21.10) and he plays for the most attacking team when it comes to attempts (542) and shots inside the box (344).

Certainly from an effective ownership (EO) perspective, Salah’s popularity may quickly reach an essential level. Going without him would be brave.

WHEN TO BUY SALAH?

After that, it’s a question of how long can managers wait for him.

Monday rumours hinted that their outstanding Everton (a) fixture will be placed into Gameweek 34, forming a double. With that in mind, those who can say no to the Brighton outing may struggle to turn down Gameweek 31 at home to Sheffield United.

Managers low on money might activate earlier-than-planned Wildcards just to get Salah back in. Especially if Double Gameweeks 34 and 37 are announced by then, as a plan can formulated.

BUT WHO FOR?

Yet the big question regards identifying a midfielder to make way for him. Those still with Kevin De Bruyne (£10.5m) have an easy route to the Egyptian but Son Heung-min (£10.1m) is about to host Luton, with Nottingham Forest soon after.

Phil Foden (£8.1m) has avoided ‘Pep Roulette’ so far, has six goals from seven and ends the season with strong fixtures. Meanwhile, Bukayo Saka (£9.1m) is the sole midfielder on more points than Salah.

Affording this top-heavy four would require sacrifices elsewhere. Downgrades of Ollie Watkins (£9.0m) and Kieran Trippier (£6.7m), perhaps?

CONCLUSION

Such is the plethora of strong midfield options, it’s of course very possible to end the season strongly without Salah. But he’s arguably the greatest FPL asset ever – definitely of recent times. His Double Gameweek is on the horizon and he brings safe captaincy potential.

Maybe Son can make way ahead of Gameweek 31, or there are hints of a Foden benching with two Real Madrid clashes coming up. There’s even a chance that your team value can afford them all.

Best of luck to those deciding not to bother.

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