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Liverpool legend leads Premier League rivals in social media race

As the Premier League fast approaches the crunch stage of the 2023/24 campaign, clubs turn to their standout performers to deliver moments of brilliance and lead them through the challenges.

Last season’s runners-up, Arsenal, blew a fiercely contested title race wide open with a stunning 3-1 home win against Liverpool last weekend.

Not only did the Gunners avenge a three-game winless run against Jurgen Klopp’s outfit in their 200th league encounter, but, more importantly, they closed the gap on the pacesetters to two points.

Mikel Arteta relied upon his formidable duo, Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka, to inspire the London club to an all-important win, with the team’s top ‘Twitter influencer’ spending the game on the bench.

Despite boasting a star-studded squad, including the most expensive English footballer in history, Declan Rice, Arsenal’s most vocal spokesman on social media is Mohamed Elneny.

Perhaps surprisingly, the Egyptian midfielder has 5.2 million followers on the famous social media platform, which makes him the most popular Arsenal player on X.

Elneny’s Egypt teammate Mohamed Salah, who had to sit out the derby due to an injury he picked up while on international duty at the Africa Cup of Nations, has no match in the Premier League.

As the best Egypt player of all time and one of the most prolific forwards in the modern Premier League era, the 31-year-old is the division’s most prominent influencer on X.

With 18.8m followers, the three-time Premier League Golden Boot winner beats second-placed Erling Braut Haaland of Manchester City by roughly 12m, testifying to his unrivalled popularity.

Salah is more than just a lethal marksman. His iconic status at Anfield plays a significant part in his substantial fanbase, especially given Liverpool’s worldwide appeal.

However, it takes more than on-field success to gain such heavy traction.

Aptly named the ‘Egyptian King,’ Salah has become known for his charity work, continually donating money to help build infrastructure in his hometown, Nagrig.

His philanthropic activities stretch beyond the Egyptian borders, as evidenced by his utmost effort to secure humanitarian aid in the Gaza Strip during the 2023 Israel-Hamas war.

According to data collected from official Premier League Player listings and via X and correct on February 2, 2024, four more Liverpool players make the top-20 list in the Premier League.

Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Thiago Alcântara are the remaining Reds on the list.

While Haaland outperformed Salah in his record-breaking maiden Premier League season last term, his X account, boasting 6.1m followers, comes nowhere near Salah’s outreach.

In his defence, he’s still relatively new to the scene, even though he’s already an established football superstar at just 23.

Haaland’s popularity stems from his outrageous goalscoring capacity and eye-catching numbers, something Manchester United talisman Marcus Rashford had a chance to taste last season.

Rashford has been synonymous with Old Trafford for years, but his scoring prowess only came to the fore after Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure midway through the 2022/23 campaign.

Widely considered among the best active English players, the 26-year-old forward has 6.9m followers on X, accounting for the largest fanbase among England internationals.

Bruno Fernandes, Harry Maguire, Anthony Martial and Luke Shaw are other Man Utd aces to have made the top-20 list, making the Red Devils one of only two Premier League sides to have five players in this distinguished club.

Despite Man City’s treble-winning campaign in 2022/23 and the club’s ever-growing popularity under Pep Guardiola’s trophy-laden regime, only Kyle Walker joins Haaland in this category.

Kevin De Bruyne’s absence is somewhat unfathomable, even more so when players like Ashley Young, Raul Jimenez and Willian are in the top 12.

Chelsea may not be having the best time on the pitch. But their stars are thriving in extracurricular activities, with Raheem Sterling and Kai Havertz among the most popular X influencers.

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