Former Ghana and Fulham defender John Paintsil believes Liverpool star Mohamed Salah is yet to overtake Chelsea legend Didier Drogba as Africa’s greatest in Premier League history despite the former overtaking the latter as all-time top scorer.
Against Manchester United on Sunday, the Egyptian netted an incredible hat-trick to move up to 107 goals in the Premier League, three more strikes than the Ivorian whom he was tied with on 104 goals heading into the big game.
“When you talk about Premier League history, it’s a big thing. You just mentioned Drogba leading in goals and now Salah has taken over,” Paintsil told Goal.
“Drogba took about eight years to set his record and Salah has taken about four years, so we can say currently Salah is the African hitting it so hard, but also we have to look at the efforts on how they did it.
“I’d say there’s a difference between the two players. Drogba was a powerhouse. Although he spent about eight years and Salah has spent about half of that, I will still give the accolade to Drogba.
“But Salah is not that far from overtaking Drogba looking at the way he’s going. In terms, of quality, power and team ethic, I can say most of Salah’s goals are individual goals.”
Drogba first played for Chelsea between 2004 and 2012, before returning for a brief second spell in the 2014-15 season.
Salah, on the other hand, first came to England in 2014, signing for Chelsea where he made his Premier League debut and scored his first goal in the competition.
He, however, struggled to settle down at Stamford Bridge, warranting a permanent move away to AS Roma in 2016 after loan deals at Fiorentina and the Italian capital club.
A year later, he moved to Liverpool. “As I am talking to you know, I am a technical man, I’m a coach, so I will speak from a coach’s point of view. Players who play as a team and work according to the pattern of the team are always brilliant,” Paintsil explained further.
“Individual players we don’t add as team players. But sometimes when you need individual brilliance, then one can go in for them”.
“Drogba was very good in the air, he was very good on free-kicks, he was also good on long-range efforts and his leadership quality was also good on the pitch and off the pitch.
“He had all these and he was a people’s person, socialised more, and as a sportsman all these count. But by the way Salah is going, he might catch up very soon.”
Paintsil, who represented Ghana at the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, also featured for West Ham United and Leicester City during his time in England.