Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho admits winger Mohamed Salah needs months to find his best form at the club.
'The Special One' made his claim following the Egyptian international's lacklustre performance against Manchester City in the FA Cup, when the 21-year-old struggled to make his mark at the Etihad Stadium.
And Mourinho believes that whilst Salah has the ability and the pace to make an impact against the top teams, he still needs to adapt his style to make a mark for Chelsea on a regular basis.
"He was not in the game (against Manchester City). He has that (pace) but he was not in the game. It's important for him to come step by step and try to improve and adapt. This is a different world, a different quality of football to the one he comes from," said the manager on his £11million January signing.
"You know, playing at Stamford Bridge is not the same as playing for Basel. With Basel you play to enjoy your time and you have nothing to lose. While in the blue shirt, you have 40,000 people that you are required to please. Everyone wants you to be decisive, all the time."
The Chelsea boss went on to put a six-month timescale on the player reaching something close to his peak in west London.
Indeed, Mourinho believes Salah will enjoy a 'breakthrough' season for the Blues next season, as the Portuguese tactician looks to build for the club's long-term future.
"So I think Mohamed needs six months to adapt to our game and the demands of the Premier League. I am calm and I'm telling him he has time because we have confidence in him. I think next season is Mohamed Salah's breakthrough season," he added.
Salah has made three appearances for Chelsea since joining the club, and Mourinho's comments suggest more will be hard to come by this season at least.
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