Egypt’s Salah is fast, creative and enthusiastic: Mourinho

Hatem Maher, Friday 24 Jan 2014

Jose Mourinho praises Mohamed Salah after Chelsea reached an agreement with Basel to sign the Egyptian forward in the January transfer window

Mohamed Salah
Basel's Mohamed Salah (R) scores a goal against Chelsea during their Champions League soccer match against Basel at Stamford Bridge in London September 18, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)

Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho said Mohamed Salah would fit in his side, given that his playing style suits the English Premier League title-chasers.

The talented winger is on the verge of completing a January move to Chelsea from Swiss side Basel in the most high-profile move for any Egyptian footballer.

“I like the fact that he can play the same way as our attacking players do, which is with adaptability to play right, left or behind the striker. He's young, like our players in that area are, he's fast, creative and enthusiastic,” Mourinho told a news conference ahead of Chelsea’s FA Cup game against Stoke City on Sunday.

“When we analysed him he looks like the type of player who is humble on the pitch and we believe if he comes he will have a similar process to the one Willian had,” the Portuguese added, referring to the Brazilian winger who joined Chelsea last summer.

Liverpool were reportedly leading the chase to sign Salah but Chelsea stepped in at the last moment to snatch the Egyptian international from under the noses of their rivals.

The Blues opted to sign Salah as a replacement for Spanish playmaker Juan Mata, who is close to joining Manchester United.

“It was a surprise for us that Juan was leaving, we were not prepared to make bids and try to bring a player to replace him in the squad, everything happened very fast.  We had to work on that and see what options could be good for us,” added Mourinho.

“When we finally decided to go for Salah we had to start from zero because we had no contact with the club or the player, we didn't even know who the player's agent is.

“The first step was an agreement with the club, as we made official. Everything is done subject to the medical and the player's desire to join us. Now we know he's happy the two clubs have an agreement.”

Salah, who played a key role in helping Basel win a fourth successive Swiss league title and qualify for the Europa League semis last season, is no stranger to Chelsea, having scored against them in home and away games in the Champions League group stage this term.

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