John Obi Mikel reveals how Jose Mourinho left Mohamed Salah in tears with Chelsea rant
- Egyptian joined Blues in 2014
- Struggled to make an impact
- Clashed with Portuguese coach
WHAT HAPPENED? The 30-year-old forward moved to Stamford Bridge in 2014, but took in just 19 appearances for the Blues – registering only two goals – before being allowed to leave for Fiorentina and eventually Roma. Salah returned to English football when joining Liverpool in 2017, and has been a revelation for the Reds, with the unhappy memories of his time in west London erased in style.
WHAT THEY SAID: Mikel, a team-mate of Salah at Chelsea, has told Dubai Eye of a notable low point for the superstar winger at the hands of enigmatic Portuguese coach Mourinho: “I think [Salah] was having a bad game and then obviously Mourinho came in and ripped into him, massively ripped into him. He was in tears, and what happened is [Mourinho] didn't let him back onto the pitch in the second half. He took him off. It would have been easy to just take him off and say ‘you're not playing well, off you go, sit down, you're not going back onto the pitch’. But he ripped into him and took him off.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Salah has registered 174 goals through 286 appearances for Liverpool, but is not the only Chelsea flop to have gone on to bigger and better things after bidding farewell to the Blues. Manchester City talisman Kevin De Bruyne also endured a tough time under Mourinho, with Mikel adding on those that Chelsea allowed to slip through the net: “Kevin was always a stroppy guy, he was always on his own, he was always moody, he was always grumpy. You could never get anything out of him. But now when I watch him play... what a joy. What a joy to watch. You can also say with [Romelu] Lukaku as well, he went to Inter Milan but he went back and it didn't work out. But when I look at the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Mo Salah, what they've become now, the best players in the world, it's amazing to see. They've become physically stronger, they've become faster. I don't know what happened to them!”
IN THREE PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT? Chelsea have continued to invest heavily on players of promise since giving up on the likes of Salah and De Bruyne, but they are once again finding value hard to come in a 2022-23 campaign that sees them sat 10th in the Premier League table despite splashing out around £600 million ($716m) on new recruits.