Mohamed Salah shared that former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho expressed satisfaction with the Egyptian’s performance at Liverpool during a recent encounter. Mourinho’s tenure as a manager has faced scrutiny, particularly regarding his handling of Mohamed Salah.
Interestingly, it was Mourinho who initially brought Salah to the Premier League, signing him for Chelsea in January 2014 from Basel for £11 million. However, Salah struggled to establish himself at Stamford Bridge, receiving limited opportunities under Mourinho. During Mourinho’s tenure, Salah featured in only 19 games, scoring twice and providing four assists.
In contrast, Salah has risen to prominence as one of the Premier League’s finest players during his spell at Liverpool. Reflecting on his relationship with Mourinho, Salah emphasized his lack of animosity towards the former Manchester United manager. He remarked, as reported by The Mirror:
“I did meet him twice – in our match here at Anfield [Liverpool vs Manchester United] and in the other match in Manchester. He told me that he was happy with what I was doing. So, I thanked him. We didn’t talk much; I just said ‘hi’ to him, and he told me that he was happy for me.”
José Mourinho, who has faced criticism for offloading players like Mohamed Salah and Kevin De Bruyne, defended his decisions. He clarified that he had indeed signed Salah but loaned him out due to the player’s impatience for playing time.
“People say that I was the one that sold Salah, and it is the opposite. I bought 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. 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.”
“When people say ‘you let Salah go’, I say exactly the opposite. I bought Salah. I was the one that said ‘buy that guy’. He was going from Basel to Liverpool, and I fought. I made a war to make him come to Chelsea. Then comes the part to be a Chelsea player, you need to perform or have to wait. He didn’t want to wait and wanted to go on loan and then Chelsea at a certain point decided to sell. That was not me.”
Since his move to Liverpool for £34.3 million in 2017 from AS Roma, Salah has been an exceptional performer. He has contributed 204 goals and 88 assists in 332 appearances for Jurgen Klopp’s side to date.