Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is not surprised by Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah’s exploits in the current campaign and said the decision to sell the Egyptian to Roma in 2016 was made by the London club.
Salah joined Chelsea under Mourinho in 2014 but failed to establish himself at Stamford Bridge and was loaned out to Fiorentina and Roma before a permanent move to the Stadio Olimpico outfit in 2016.
The 25-year-old returned to the Premier League with Liverpool this season and has excelled, scoring 31 goals in 33 matches to win the Professional Footballers’ Association’s Player of the Year award.
He was also the architect of a commanding Liverpool 5 – 2, win against his former team Roma in this week’s Champions League semifinal, with two goals and two assists.
‘‘I was the one that bought Salah. I was the one that told Chelsea to buy Salah… 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,’‘ Mourinho, who currently manages Manchester United, told ESPN.
“Chelsea decided to sell him, OK? … So the decision to send him on loan was a decision we made collectively, but after that, the decision to sell him and to use that money to buy another player wasn’t mine.”
Salah has scored 43 goals across all competitions this season and is in contention to win the European Golden Boot.
“I think everything has surprised even him. It has been fantastic,” Mourinho added.
“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.”
Salah who was named the CAF African Player of the Year in January, has been tipped by pundits to break the Messi -Ronaldo duopoly of the World Player of the Year.
Salah’s chances will hugely depend on the performance of his Egyptian team at the World Cup, which is kicking off in June in Russia.