Egypt's Salah completes stunning Chelsea move

Omar Zaazou, Sunday 26 Jan 2014

Despite earlier talks with Liverpool, Mohamed Salah moves from Basel to Chelsea

Mohamed Salah
Egypt's Forward Mohamed Salah

Egypt's international forward Mohamed Salah has completed his move to Chelsea from Basel on a five-and-a-half-year contract for an undisclosed fee.

"Chelsea Football Club today completed the signing of Mohamed Salah from FC Basel," the Blues said in a statement on their official website on Sunday.

"The Egyptian international will wear the number 15 shirt."

The transfer fee is believed to be in the region of €13m, according to the UEFA official website. 

"I'm very happy to sign for such a big club. I hope I can make the @chelseafc supporters happy," Salah said on Twitter.

Salah had been a target of Premier League side Liverpool since the opening of the winter transfer window and the player was close to joining the Reds, but Chelsea have instead won the race for the 21-year-old.  

He will now be joining Egypt teammate Ahmed Elmohamady in the English Premier League on the former's second overseas spell, following a shining one-and-half year tenure with Swiss league champions Basel.

Chelsea are currently third in the league on 49 points, two adrift of leaders Arsenal.

Arab Contractors' beginning

Salah kicked off his career inside his homeland at Arab Contractors, where he made his senior debut at the age of just 17.

His maiden goal for Contractors came in a 1-1 league draw against Ahly, when Salah caught the eye with a superb performance against the Cairo giants.

But the suspension of the 2011-12 league season, prompted by the deadly Port Said disaster, brought an end to his Contractors' stint -- which saw him score a total of 11 goals -- to embark on a new adventure at Swiss side Basel.

Impressing at Basel

Salah took the Swiss league by storm on his first season abroad, helping Basel secure a fourth consecutive league title with five goals and four assists.

On continental front, the Egyptian prodigy was just as impressive, grabbing two Europa League goals against Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea -- who eventually ousted Basel from the competition's semis.

However, it wasn't the end of Salah's goals against the Blues, with the Egypt ace proving once again a handful for Peter Cech -- who had to concede another two goals from the livewire winger the following season.

Salah scored home and away against Chelsea to steer Basel to two shock victories in the UEFA Champions League group stage -- a major feat that brought him considerable attention in Europe.

A key member in Basel's squad who scored a total of nine competitive goals this season, he was awarded the Swiss Golden Player Award 2013 in December.

On the international front

Internationally, Salah was a regular for Egypt in the 2011 U-20 World Cup campaign, when the Pharaohs were controversially eliminated by Argentina from the round of 16.

Despite being among the youngest members in then-first-team manager Bob Bradley's squad , Salah proved instrumental for Egypt – having bagged six goals in the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign.

His dazzling displays with Egypt had previously earned him Africa's Most Promising Talent in 2012.

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