Mohamed Salah is the man of the moment in the football world: with his top performances he has brought Liverpool a couple of steps far from the Champions League final, adding three assists to his two goals in the first leg of the semifinal against Roma the other night.
Former Chelsea manager José Mourinho defends himself from critics who accused him to have sold the Egyptian player.
Salah was bought from Chelsea in 2014, when the Portuguese was in charge, but he wasn’t ready for English football and went on loan in Italy in two different spells firstly to Fiorentina and then to Roma.
The Giallorossi eventually signed him on a permanent deal in summer 2016, but then they were forced to sell him to Liverpool one year later to respect FPF.
Speaking to ESPN Brazil, Mourinho claimed:
“I think everything has surprised even him. It has been fantastic,” the Manchester United boss said of Salah’s breakout season.
“But he is a great player that has reached the peak of maturity, he has already lived several other experiences and now has fitted perfectly into the style of play of the team, of the coach and of the club as well. So it doesn’t surprise me that much.”
Salah’s sensational campaign has left many to question Chelsea’s decision to sell him, and Mourinho defended himself from those queries, adding:
“It is the first time that I am going to say this, but it is another injustice that has been talked about me.
“People say that I was the one that sold Salah and it is the opposite.
“I bought Salah.
“It is the opposite. I was the one that bought Salah. I was the one that told Chelsea to buy Salah. It was with me in charge that Salah came to Chelsea. But he came as a young kid, physically he was not ready, mentally he was not ready, socially and culturally he was lost and everything was tough for him.
“We decided to put him on loan and he asked for that as well. He wanted to play more minutes, to mature, he wanted to go and we sent him on loan to Fiorentina, and at Fiorentina he started to mature.
“Chelsea decided to sell him, OK?
“And when they say that I was the one that sold him it is a lie. I bought him. I agreed to send him on loan, I thought it was necessary, I thought that Chelsea had wingers… Some of them are still there like Willian, Hazard and all those players already in a different level.
“But effectively I did buy Salah, I didn’t sell Salah, but it doesn’t matter. What matters is that he is a fantastic player, and I am really happy for everything that is happening for him and especially because he scores against everyone and he didn’t score against us in two games.”