Chelsea are famed for their swiftness in discarding a lot of their players on loan once they jump to conclusion that there won’t be a need for such players. More than once, this decision has seen the club shoot themselves in the leg in the long run, with Lukaku and De Bruyne being 2 standout examples of Chelsea rejects that turned out to be the success stories.
And a 3rd might just be in the making considering his exploits in the Italian Serie A. Egyptian international and Roma winger Mohammed Salah, who is rated at €40.4 Million by the CIES Football Observatory, has made his mark in Italy since first arriving from Stamford Bridge on loan in February 2015. The 24-year-old agreed on an 18-month loan with Fiorentina in a deal that saw Juan Cuadrado move the other way.
6 months into the deal and at the end of the season, he moved to Roma for another loan term, this time around for a season. The former Basel star had a great campaign with the capital club, scoring 14 goals in 34 Serie A appearances at the end of his loan deal. Including his time at Fiorentina, Salah scored 20 goals in 50 league games, but they weren’t enough to earn him a recall to Chelsea as they rather chose to sell him.
And it looks like another move they could regret eventually considering how useful he has become for Roma since last season. This season, Salah’s fine form has continued, and he has found the back of the net 5 times in 10 games having also made 4 assists.
Roma are trailing league leaders Juventus by 2 points, and the Egyptian winger, considered surplus to requirements at Chelsea, is one of the major players behind their fine run.
Mohamed Salah isn’t only helping with the goals and creating chances (32), he is making the crucial passes that have seen Roma scored more goals (26) than any other club in the Serie A this season. Only Barcelona (29) and Monaco (29) have scored more across Europe’s top 5 leagues.
In 10 appearances, he has made at least 5 more key passes (30) than any other player in Serie A. No player in Chelsea has made more. And he has also scored more, assisted goals, and created more chances than any other Chelsea winger/attacking midfielder this season.
Salah’s finishing is something Chelsea could do with in a season like this, and how they would have fared with him in their ranks last season is anyone’s guess. While their chances conversion is applaudable having scored 19 out of the 115 created in the league thus far, Conte would have been glad to have such clinical forward who is able to provide more efficiency to the team’s frontline.
Make no mistakes, a winger is the least of Chelsea’s problems right now, but having one with Mohamed Salah’s qualities to the ones on the ground will only make them more ruthless in the attacking third, and with more key passes made come more clear-cut chances created. With those come more goals scored, and subsequently more points accumulated.
How deadly Chelsea will be with him in their ranks is anybody’s guess, but no doubt, selling him remains one of their greatest mistakes in recent times.