Chelsea agreed to a £11 million deal for Swiss club Basel's Mohamed Salah on Thursday, just hours after reportedly agreeing that their two-time player of the year Juan Mata could join Manchester United.
Many people don't know who he is, and more people than that don't know what he can do or what is capable of.
They hear he's Egyptian and automatically wonder whether or not he can play in a major European league.
He's young, 21-years-old to be exact, and hasn't had enough time to develop or prove himself. He plays in an inferior league. The Swiss league is certainly not the Premier League or the Bundesliga.
But the truth is, Salah is a legitimate Egyptian diamond in the Sahara Desert.
A very good passer of the ball, Salah is most known for his ability to create with his blazing speed while staying in control of the ball and himself. He is a very wise footballer, in that it always seems like he makes the best decision for his team according to the flow of the match.
He has scored acrobatic goals, simple tap-ins from the 6 yard box, and he is composed from the penalty spot as well. But almost just as importantly, he has scored these goals against top-notch European competition, including a goal in each leg against Chelsea in the Champions League group stages.
Perhaps the best area of his game comes on the counter-attack, which is why he'll be an immediate cog in Jose Mourinho's counter-attacking machine. His quick feet and precision passing make him a threat to distribute the ball where it needs to be on the break, and he has proven himself a lethal finisher when attacking in numbers.
Salah is a flexible forward as well, comfortable on either wing or as a centre attacking midfielder, again just sounding like beautiful football music to Mourinho's ears.
Salah already has the skills and plays like a Chelsea fan-favorite: the departing Juan Mata.
Both players are shorter and rely on their pace and vision to create for their teams on the counter. In terms of skill on the ball, both Salah and Mata possess a nimble touch in the penalty area and can make defenders look silly with a slew of offensive trickery. With the ladder leaving the club, Salah is more than capable of filling the creative void.
At 5'9" and 69 kg (152 lbs), his overall strength has been his biggest weakness to date, sometimes getting worked off of the ball by a larger player or going to ground because of a physical challenge.
If brute strength is his worst reported attribute, then this young forward has a tremendous future in front of him. After hitting the weight-room and getting used to the rough-and-tumble style of the Premier League, his strength will go up and so will his value to this young Chelsea team.
Chelsea captured his services for £11 million, but after playing under Mourinho for a season or two, this young Egyptian will be worth much more than that price.
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