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Le Roy: Salah is second best African player? An exaggeration
Claude Le Roy, Congo’s national team coach and former French player, believes that naming Mohamed Salah as the second best African player is an ‘exaggeration’.
Mohamed Salah came second in a poll done by the French-based magazine France Football about the best African footballer in 2015.
The readers’ votes put Salah before Yaya Toure, Riyad Mahrez and Ibrahima Traoré.
Le Roy commented on the performance of each of the top players, describing Salah as Egypt’s ‘standard-bearer’.
The 67-year-old coach believes that Salah is an international player despite his not so successful period at Chelsea, adding that the Egyptian midfielder needs to improve his teamwork skills.
“I had seen him when he played for the Arab Contractors. He is an important player, but has failed to prove himself at Chelsea. He probably went there way too early,” Le Roy told France Football.
Le Roy, however, praised Salah’s performance with AS Roma, having scored five goals in nine Serie A matches.
“In Italy, it shows that he is a player of an international level. I like his performance in front of the goal. However, I think he needs to depend more on teamwork,” he said.
Nevertheless, Le Roy does not think that Salah, who earned 10% of the 6.8 million votes, deserves to be the second best African player.
“Today, we see that Rudi Garcia puts him at ease and we can clearly see the difference between a player who’s low on confidence and another who’s fully confident of himself. But to say that he’s Africa’s second best player is a bit exaggerated for me,” he explained.
Le Roy believes that the 23-year-old can be an important asset to the Egyptian national team.
“Egypt has dropped a lot lately. Yes, some clubs have reached the final stages of continental championships, but it is not at all the early 21st century team that had won three consecutive AFCONs (2006, 2008, 2010 ).
“Currently, Mohamed Salah is the leader of this team and aspires to be an important gearwheel if he keeps on his performance with Roma, which wasn’t something he was capable of doing while playing three games per season with Chelsea,” added Le Roy.