Former Chelsea midfielder Mikel Obi said he never expected Liverpool talisman, Mohamed Salah, to be as big as he has become within 5 years. He said though he believes in the abilities of the Egyptian international, yet, his level of development has been surprising to him.
Mohamed Salah met Mikel Obi at Chelsea when he joined the club from Switzerland club, FC Basel, in 2014. The Liverpool goals machine couldn’t establish himself at Chelsea as he had to spend most of the time at the club on loan to Fiorentina and Roma. He later made his loan deal permanent at Italian Serie A side Roma in 2015.
While in Italy, Mohamed Salah helped Roma to finish second on the league table. In less than two seasons, the 26-year-old Egyptian striker scored 29 goals in 65 appearances for the Italian club.
He returned to the Premier League to join Liverpool football club in 2017, two years after leaving Chelsea. In his first season at Liverpool, he became the highest goals scorer of the league. In his second season, he became the joint highest goals scorer of the league and also helped Liverpool to win the 2018-2019 UEFA Champions League title, UEFA Super League Cup, and FIFA Club World Cup. He is currently leading the frontline of Liverpool in their quest to win the club’s first Premier League title in 30 years.
Mike Obi who had 11 fruitful years at Stamford bridge said when Mohamed Salah joined Chelsea, the Egyptian was a young man with a good personality. The 33-year-old Nigerian football icon recalled that he had a wonderful relationship with the footballer during their time together at the club.
“When Salah came to Chelsea, he was a young boy, but he had a nice personality and everyone loved him,” Mikel told OnTime Sports.
“He was very disciplined, we were close friends, talking a lot and joking a lot, he was a good friend.”
“I believed in his development, but frankly I did not imagine that he would reach the quality that he has now.”
Mikel has retired from international football and he is currently without a club side. He left Chelsea for Tianjin TEDA in Chinese Super League in 2017 after he has won almost everything in club football including a Champions League title, a Europa League trophy and two Premier League titles. He later returned to Europe to play for Middlesbrough and Trabzonspor.
He became clubless in March 2020 after Trabzonspor parted ways with him on mutual consent.