During an interview with ESPN Brazil, former Chelsea manager José Mourinho has spoken about the club’s decision to sell Mohamed Salah to Roma in 2016, insisting that he deserves credit for bringing the Egyptian to Stamford Bridge in the first instance. Here is what he had to say:
“I think everything surprised even him. It has been fantastic,” the Manchester United boss said of Salah’s breakout season with Liverpool. “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. So, it doesn’t surprise me that much.
“It is the first time that I am going to say this, but it is another injustice that has been talked about me. People say that I was the one that sold Salah and it is the opposite. I bought Salah. I was the one that told Chelsea to buy Salah. It was with me in charge that Salah came to Chelsea. 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?
“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. But even if it was, in football we make mistakes a lot of times, so many times some players develop in a way we were not expecting. Some others don’t reach another level like we thought they would, so I don’t think this is a mistake, it is just part of the job.
“But effectively I did buy Salah, I didn’t sell Salah, but it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that he is a fantastic player, and I am really happy for everything that is happening for him and especially because he scores against everyone and he didn’t score against us in two games.”