Chelsea legend Ashley Cole has admitted that he has been taken surprise by Mohamed Salah’s successes with Liverpool.
The 38-year-old Cole who now plays for Derby County was previously team-mates with Salah for a few months during the second half of the 2013-14 season after the Egyptian joined the West London giants from Basel in January 2014. While Salah and Cole played together at Stamford Bridge, the former struggled to prove himself under Jose Mourinho as he went on to make 11 appearances in all competitions and scored just two goals.
During the 2014-15 season, Salah slipped further down the pecking order at the Blues and had loan spells with Fiorentina and Roma before joining the latter permanently in 2016. Salah was deemed surplus to requirements and some felt that he was not good enough for the Premier League. He, however, did not let the criticism get to him and had a stellar season with Roma during the 2016/17 campaign as he went on to score 15 goals from 31 Serie A appearances.
During the summer of 2017, Liverpool swooped for Salah and the club were criticized for signing a player who impressively failed to impress in the top-flight whilst contracted to Chelsea. During his first campaign with the Reds, Salah proved once and for all that he is a world-class talent as he went on to score 32 times in the league and finished as the English top flight’s top scorer. He once again proved that he is no one-season wonder this term as he has gone on to net 19 times in the League so far and is currently the top flight’s top scorer, tied with Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero.
Like many, Cole did not think that Salah would get to where he is now. When asked if he thought that Salah was good enough, Cole said as quoted by Goal: “To be honest, no.
“I saw in training the ability that he had but he seems to have become more ruthless. I don’t mean selfish in a bad way, but he wants to score goals.
“That’s his job. He needs to score goals. [Salah], Firmino and Mane all play well together but I think he’s become a little bit more ‘it’s about me now, it’s my time’.
“He’s had enough of the other players, being in their shadow, and he wants to be the main man.”