Mohamed Salah is now widely regarded as one of the best forwards in world football and deservedly so.
The Egypt international has been nothing short of sensational since joining Liverpool in a £34 million deal from AS Roma in June 2017.
Eyebrows were raised when Liverpool paid that amount of money on a player who’d struggled to perform during his first spell in English football with Chelsea.
Salah joined Chelsea from Basel in January 2014 and only managed to make 19 appearances for the west London outfit before he was sold to Roma.
Since his move to Anfield, though, Salah has established his status as one of the most dangerous forwards on the planet. In 212 appearances for the Reds, the Egyptian had scored 134 goals, winning two Premier League Golden Boot awards in the process.
This begs the question: why did Salah fail to perform for Chelsea?
Eddie Newton, Chelsea’s former loan technical coach, believes it was down to a personality clash with Jose Mourinho.
In an exclusive interview with Goal, Newton said: “For me, I think Salah and [Kevin] De Bruyne wasn’t about talent. It was a personality clash [with Jose Mourinho]. I just didn’t think it was working at the time.
“I think they were more than good enough, but it was the manager who didn’t see eye-to-eye with them, so it wasn’t going to work.”
Steven Gerrard’s analysis of Mo Salah from 2018
This might be true – although Steven Gerrard’s analysis on Salah from 2018 suggests that Mourinho wasn’t using the forward in the most effective way.
Gerrard noted how Salah was in the team to provide for the club’s star players.
The Liverpool legend also highlighted how Salah would drop too deep at times and play safe because he was too concerned about trying to do the right thing for the team every time.
Watch Part 1 of Gerrard’s analysis here:
Gerrard believes Salah’s move to Roma provided him with the confidence required to return to the Premier League and take the opportunity at Liverpool with both hands.
Not only that, but Gerrard felt that Jurgen Klopp immediately understood how to get the best out of the player.
“I think as he’s moved to Liverpool, with that confidence from Roma and a manager like Jurgen Klopp, he’s been moved closer to the goal,” Gerrard said on BT Sport. “You see him here in a number nine position, scoring a typical striker’s goal.
“So with experience and he’s evolved with his talent, he’s finding himself between the sticks more. That composure and that skill is incredible.
“But if you see where his receiving positions are in this team, compared to Chelsea, it’s a lot closer to the goal and it’s between the sticks. When you’re a winger and playing out wide, it’s impossible to hit the number that he’s hitting for Liverpool at the moment.
“It’s unbelievable to watch and he’s a special, special talent.”
Watch Part 2 of Gerrard’s analysis here:
Chelsea’s loss was most certainly Liverpool’s gain.
Salah is firmly on course to cement his status as an all-time Premier League great and Chelsea fans will always scratch their heads at the decision to allow such a gifted footballer to leave Stamford Bridge.
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