With three goals in four appearances against Chelsea, it certainly seems that FC Basel winger, Mohamed Salah, has had Chelsea’s number recently. But it is the Blues that are having the last laugh as an agreement has just been reached between Chelsea and Basel for their young star. The price has yet to be announced, but reports are stating that it is in the region of £11 million.
As stated on the club’s official website:
“The move is subject to the Egyptian international agreeing personal terms and completing a medical examination.”
Salah will be Chelsea’s third – kind of – signing of the transfer window along with Nemanja Matic and Bertrand Traore. The latter has been a Chelsea player since 2010 but only signed his senior contract last December and was immediately loaned out to none other than Vitesse Arnhem.
The pacey right-winger has been ever-present in a Basel side that is top of the Swiss Super League and has scored six times in 18 appearances in both domestic league and Champions League.
This could be the sign of a formation switch for Chelsea going forward. At the moment they employ the extremely popular 4-2-3-1, yet it was the 4-3-3 that brought the Blues success in Jose Mourinho’s first stint and he looks keen to reintroduce it to the squad. Both Eden Hazard and Willian are left and right wingers by trade, and Oscar can be deployed behind the striker or a little deeper in a midfield three.
With these new January signings, Chelsea has added a needed piece to the midfield trident as well as depth on the right wing. And Chelsea isn’t done; they are still heavily linked to players like Luke Shaw, Diego Costa and possibly Arturo Vidal.
Salah will be a good signing but may never amount to anything more than a squad player, despite being dubbed the ‘Egyptian Messi.’ Yet for many fans, the fact that he was signed right from under Liverpool’s nose will be the most satisfying part of the deal as they were only just laughing at Tottenham for the Willian transfer. Maybe it is Mourinho’s response to Brendan Rodgers’ comments about the club earlier this month.