Salah for Sale
With Chelsea sitting pretty at the top of the Barclays Premier League, it is clear their squad is brimming with talent. As a result, getting into the Blues’ starting line-up can be a tricky task, especially with Jose Mourinho at the helms. With players such as Andre Schurrle, Ramires and Loic Remy struggling to make the final 11, there is little doubt of the power of the Stamford Bridge arsenal.
One player in particular has struggled for game time this season, Mohamed Salah. The Egyptian winger has witnessed his team only lose twice this season from the bench or even the stands. There is little doubt that this campaign has been a struggle, even if Salah did impress near the back end of last season.
Salah had a very successful period playing for FC Basel in the Swiss Super League between 2012-2014, during which he won the award for the best player in the league. His last season in Switzerland saw the 22 year old especially impress in the Champions League, scoring 2 goals in 2 games against Chelsea in the group stages.
His lethal performances against Chelsea in late 2013 saw Mourinho take note, who had been twice defeated by Salah’s Basel. On the 23rd January last year, Chelsea sealed a €14.6 million deal for the Egyptian winger’s services. It looked to be the tricky wide man’s big break and hoped to give Chelsea’s title push a new dynamic.
However, injury plagued Salah in his opening months and it wasn’t until March that the new signing got a run in the team. In Chelsea’s 6-0 massacre of Arsenal, Salah rounded off the rout with a slide rule one-on-one finish past Wojciech Szczesny. The new no.15 particularly impressed in the Blue’s 3-0 win over Stoke, as Salah scored his second goal as well as being named man of the match.
Despite this inspired end to the season, performances from Willian and Andre Schurrle on the right-wing have seen Salah almost forgotten this term. The 2014-2015 season has seen only 7 appearances, many of which from the bench and no goals. Liked by many of the Stamford Bridge faithful, Salah’s dramatic decline from form has been seen as a great shame by large sections of fans.
After a calendar year at the club, Salah’s future hangs in the balance with Chelsea interested in Colombia and Fiorentina winger Juan Cuadrado. Rumors continue to circulate regarding a possible swap deal with the Italian club or a possible return to the player’s spiritual home of Basel.
Jose Mourinho emphasized this week that he believes Chelsea will not delve into this month’s transfer market yet talks with Cuadrado continue to fester. Moreover, the Portuguese stated if the club was to sell, a replacement would be found. Thus, if Salah does go, the club would look to bring in someone to fill the void left.
So, with Mohamed Salah’s Chelsea career left in tatters after a blistering start last season, what does the future hold for the tricky Egyptian and if he does depart will Colombian star Juan Cuadrado take his seat at Stamford Bridge?
Kobe, YJA Sports Correspondent
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