Sunday 26 January 2014
Chelsea have confirmed the signing of Mohamed Salah from Basel. On Friday the club announced that a deal had been reached with the Swiss club and the rest of the deal for the Egypt winger, who has signed a five-and-a-half-year contract, was completed over the weekend.
“I'm very happy to sign for Chelsea, such a big club in the world,” Salah said. “I hope I can make the Chelsea supporters happy and have a good career at the club for many years to come.”
Salah, who will wear the No 15 shirt at Stamford Bridge, joined Basel in March 2012 and is familiar to Chelsea fans having scored in each of the three matches he has faced them in European competition. His goal in the semi-finals was unable to prevent Chelsea’s march to UEFA Europa League glory last season while this campaign in the group stages of the UEFA Champions League he struck in Switzerland and at Stamford Bridge.
"He's young, fast, creative and enthusiastic"
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was attracted by the player’s versatility as he sought to replace Juan Mata, who was sold to Manchester United.
"I like the fact that he can play the same way our attacking players do, which is players with adaptability, to play right, left, or behind the striker," Mourinho said on Friday. "He's young, he's fast, he's creative, he's enthusiastic. When we analysed him he looks the kind of humble personality on the pitch, ready to work for the team and to work and to adapt himself to a new life.
"We think with him and André Schurrle, Eden Hazard, Oscar and Willian we will be fine. We lose an experienced top player like Juan Mata, but we bring in a young player with great potential. Willian did that transition from his previous world to the top world of football. Hopefully, if Salah comes, he can do the same. He has some experience in Europe, the Europa League, Champions League, so he's not a naive boy arriving in the jungle."
"Hopefully he comes and, hopefully, with the talented players we have around in the same positions we all can develop together."
Salah, who has 17 goals in 27 appearances for his country, will be the first Egyptian to play for Chelsea. It is the club’s third signing during the January transfer window after Nemanja Matic and Bertrand Traore.