Mohamed Salah - Chelsea's wasted genius?
Mohamed Salah is a genius. Wasted? Not exactly.
His infamously stunning goals against his current employers in the Champions League attracted mesmerised attention from potential suitors. His superb propensity to adeptly drift past defenders earned him the nickname of "Egyptian Messi", his excellent dribbling similar to those the Barcelona supporters regularly gorge on.
I recall the delight which swept Stamford Bridge during Chelsea's FA Cup Fourth Round tie against Stoke when news of his arrival broke. His January transfer succeeded the signing of Nemanja Matic to conclude a proficient transfer window for the club.
The Bridge support were pleased with regard of his tender age, his talent and the sagacious manager he would play under. Jose Mourinho has proven that he is the best coach to play for when a young attacking player, tailoring the individual games of Eden Hazard, Willian and Oscar for the better.
His signature represented another jigsaw in the Blues' puzzle to construct a long-lasting empire, an effort powered by Mourinho. He joined impressive and lengthy list of talented youngster out on loan, a list including Thibaut Courtois, Kurt Zouma and Lucas Piazon. Couple those with the likes of Eden Hazard, Oscar and Andre Schurrle and then the foundations of an empire are evident.
But it has not worked out that way. For now at least.
It occurred to me that the Egyptian was initially not included in the matchday squad against Tottenham on Saturday before Fernando Torres's succumbing to a groin injury. It was a complication which Samuel Eto'o benefited from, starting and scoring while Salah was promoted to a seat on the bench. As if to accentuate his toils, Salah failed to make the squad which won at Craven Cottage too.
Despite his ability and potential, Salah struggles to make the matchday eighteen. His plight draws comparisons with Shinji Kagawa's since his move to Manchester United from Borussia Dortmund, only that United are depleted of creative attacking options, a stark contrast to Chelsea's state.
Alarming, his predicament is additionally similar to that experienced by Juan Mata, concluding in a move away from SW6.
With two short substitute appearances to his name, gametime has been few and far between for Chelsea's No.15. But with the attacking options at Mourinho's disposal, the prospect of stiff competition was pre-determined. It made his preference of joining us instead of Liverpool absurd, on the basis that he would be a regular at Anfield and the plethora of offensive talent already at the Bridge.
However, regardless of his recent travails, I would not be surprised if he played a much more prominent role next season as Jose seemingly bides his time with Salah. I also would not be taken aback with bewilderment if he left on loan in the summer in search of regular first-team action, mirroring the respective departures of Marko Marin and Victor Moses.
Jose must not waste the genius that is Mohamed Salah.
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