So Chelsea loanee Mohammed Salah is playing the football of his life over in the Serie A, scoring 6 goals in only 7 matches for Fiorentina. But is this something that really surprises you? It doesn’t me.
Salah signed for Chelsea in 2011 for a fee of around £11 million but he failed to ever cement a starting place and did not fit in to Jose Mourinho’s style of play. In a similar situation that Juan Mata did not fit in and was subsequently sold to Manchester United. But has Mourinho got this one wrong? Admittedly I was one of the few who started to doubt Salah when he arrived and whether he was going to be good enough for Chelsea. I feel I too may have been wrong.
For me, Salah has simply not been given enough chances to impress and allow his confidence to grow. In order to gather momentum and sustainability, you must have a run of first team starts in order to let your self esteem shine through and your own self belief. Salah did not get this at Chelsea, therefore the games he did play he just ended up trying so desperately hard to impress and unfortunately THAT is what we all saw. Mistakes, wrong decisions, wild efforts on goals. Looking back, it was all a sign of someone who simply wanted to prove his worth in the very small amounts of time he had.
Now at Fiorentina, with a steady run of games he is shining through. Showing how frightful his pace can be and how clinical he can be in front of goal, he’s also assisted some goals there too, which is what we are crying out for right now. I find it really hard to believe that this is a player who does not match Mourinho’s desired style. He’s fast, he’s direct, he works tirelessly for the team – thats a perfect Mourinho type of player surely?
Salah is proving his doubters wrong (including myself, I’ll hold my hands up) and I hope he continues to do so. He’s always shown class and passion for our club even when not appearing, he’s always joined in with celebrations and it must have been so difficult for him to stay positive but he was/is a proud Chelsea player.
Both Eden Hazard and Didier Drogba have taken to social media to share their joy for Salah both stating that he is on fire right now. I’m wondering whether his pace down the opposite flank to Hazard is something that we are really starting to miss at this stage of the season as fatigue is now kicking in.
But let’s learn our lesson from this and not let the same happen to Juan Cuadrado, already being doubted by some (not me this time!). He needs a run of starts and I hope Mourinho can allow him this, allow him time to gain confidence and express himself, because we seriously need him at this latter end when everyone else is flagging.
I also hope that Fiorentina do not exercise their right to buy Salah for only £16 million at the end of the season should they wish to, or Abramovich can conjure up something to bring him back. I think Salah has a huge future ahead of him and will be one of the best in the world still only at 22-years-old.
Simon Phillips – News Editor – @cfcneteditor