Jose Mourinho has told Chelsea supporters it will be next season before they get to see what £11million Mohamed Salah is all about.
The Egypt international was signed by the Blues during the January transfer window, not least due to his impressive performances against them in Europe. This came as a blow to Brendan Rodgers, who had wanted the 21-year-old forward at Liverpool as he tries to win a first league championship for the Reds since 1989-90.
Salah has made three substitute appearances since arriving in England, the last of which came in the 2-0 FA Cup fifth round defeat at Manchester City on Saturday. The former Basle star struggled to get into the game at the Etihad Stadium, but Mourinho believes this was normal and only next season will the youngster show his class.
“It’s important for him to come step by step and try to improve and adapt,” said the Portuguese coach. “This is a different world, a different quality of football to the one he comes from. You know, playing at Stamford Bridge is not the same as playing for Basel. With Basel you play to enjoy your time and you have nothing to lose.
“While in the blue shirt, you have 40,000 people you are required to please. Everyone wants you to be decisive, all the time. So I think Mohamed needs six months to adapt to our game and the demands of the Premier League. I am calm and I’m telling him he has time because we have confidence in him. I think next season is Salah’s breakthrough.”
Chelsea resume their UEFA Champions League campaign with a trip to Galatasaray next week, before which they will look to strengthen their position at the top of the Premier League table when they take on Everton on Saturday. A win for Mourinho’s side would see them move four points clear of Arsenal, who play later in the day.