Welcome a new, smarter Mohamed Salah

Liverpool made a big splash this summer when they signed Mohamed Salah, bringing in the ex-AS Roma winger to add another dose of speed and another dimension of lethality and consistency to an attack that lacked that at times last season. This is Salah's second try at the Premier League, and Liverpool will be hoping he does much better this time around. Fortunately for them, he's taken some pretty huge strides forward as a player.

Why you'll love watching him

Salah goes from zero to full speed in the blink of an eye, and his full speed is pretty significant. He was one of the fastest players in Serie A and put on some scintillating displays with that speed -- but he didn't just rely on it to get him by, he actually learned how to use that speed effectively to work for the best advantage for his team.

Once upon a time, it was easy for defenders to just funnel Salah into blind alleys where he could make little to no impact. Nowadays, he's much more aware of the situation around him on the pitch, making better decisions on the ball and to put himself in better positions to support his teammates. In fact, he's now more willing to make "dummy" runs to pull defenders out of position and open things up for his teammates -- and sometimes those also turn into scoring opportunities for Salah depending on how the play develops.

Watching how he works with the likes of Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho, and Sadio Mane will be a lot of fun, though of course with Salah's signing partly being done to vastly improve Liverpool's attacking depth, he may not always play with that foursome. Still, the options he'll give to Jurgen Klopp will make Liverpool a lot better in the final third.

How much did he cost?

Salah cost Liverpool some £35 million to sign from AS Roma, plus what's been reported as nearly £5 million per season in wages. That's a fairly hefty investment to make for a player who may not consistently start, but with a rapidly spiraling transfer market, you have to spend to get the quality talent you want.

Liverpool were certainly willing to spend what they needed to get Salah, and they definitely needed to get him or a player very much like him -- the Anfield club was in bad need of more pace on the wings to complement Sadio Mane and improve their overall depth in the final third. Whenever injuries or fatigue or other circumstances thinned out Liverpool's depth in attack last season, their attack took a precipitous drop in production, so hopefully with Salah in the squad they'll have a lot more surety and consistency from week to week.

Is he worth the money?

Signing Salah isn't without risk for Liverpool -- he's costly and despite being at an age where he still has room to improve in his career, his first go-round in the EPL with Chelsea was an abject failure that led to his spell in Italy with Roma. Many fans will be nervous to watch his early matches to see how he performs, afraid of a repeat of those struggles from several years ago.

But Salah has grown as a player since that early setback in his career, and there's plenty of reason to think that he'll be much better this time around, and very well worth the money Liverpool has invested in him. He filled a big hole in the team, he should make Liverpool a lot better, and that's always well worth spending money on.

Main photo: Ian Walton/Getty Images