Profile: Mohamed Salah
by Ines Barbosa
Jan 30, 2014 11:26 AM GMT
It's been a good week for Mohamed Salah. First, his transfer from Basel to Chelsea became official, then the Swiss Super League distinguished him as Player of the Year, plus he (obviously) made the league's best XI and was chosen as the fan's favorite player. It may not be a great league compared to others in Europe, but an award is an award and it just proves what's been said about him lately; he's got what it takes to make it big, and to make it far with José Mourinho on his side.
Salah may be only 21-years-old, but he's already been making a name for himself in these past few years. After five seasons at the Egyptian Premier League's club Al Moqaweloon, he transferred to Basel, where he played 73 games and scored 17 goals throughout one and a half seasons, helping the Swiss team secure four consecutive league titles. With six goals for Egypt, he was also the "ex-aequo pichichi", let's call it that, of CAF's World Cup 2014 Qualification - even though Egypt didn't make the final cut.
Although Salah's favorite position is on the right wing, he's expected to have a lot of competition for that spot, what with Willian and Andre Schürrle playing there too. So, it's a good thing that the Egyptian is able to play on the left and center, giving Mourinho yet another (good) attacking option. Salah is a fast player and has a knack for sneaking past the opposing defense before they realize it and is dangerous whenever he gets close to the net.
Chelsea themselves know how lethal the Egyptian can be when he's inspired - the player recently scored against the English team three out of the four times he played against them, both in the Europa and Champions League. Mourinho himself joked, when he announced the signing, that at least that way he wouldn't score against the Blues again.
He's not the only one who's pleased with this arrival, though. Branislav Ivanovic also showed his approval, stating that Salah reminded him of, "(Arjen) Robben, the way he plays always going from the right wing, but going inside left-footed," and adding that, "(I hope) he is going to be important".
All in all, what we can say for sure is that Salah is young, talented and definitely eager to learn under Mourinho. It was a good thing he moved to the Premier League, where he'll be able to grow as a player, and will, hopefully, have the opportunity to become even better in this more competitive ambience.
Let's just hope he adapts well and can prove himself to the Portuguese coach by securing a place in the squad and not on the bench where Juan Mata found himself after failing to adapt to the Special One's new system. Even though the two players' styles are nothing alike, Salah might be just what Chelsea's fans were needing to forget the bitter taste of Mata leaving for Manchester.