Lampard, Ferdinand and Gerrard discuss Salah’s rise
On BT Sport’s post game analysis following Salah scoring against his former club Chelsea, the question was raised as to whether he would be another on the list of Chelsea’s “ones that got away” in terms of former young players at the club who have gone on to have success elsewhere, with the major examples being De Bruyne at Manchester City and Lukaku at Manchester United.
Salah’s former Chelsea teammate, Frank Lampard, who said “There shouldn’t be too much finger pointing. He was young, probably in an early stage of his career, it didn’t work for him so he went away and did well. It’s very hard, Chelsea had an abundance of talent in those positions at that time and I’d rather focus on the player. Credit to them for going away and working hard”.
When asked what had changed with Salah since his time at Chelsea, Lampard said “His personality and the feeling of deserving to be there. He’s always had these abilities, he was quick and had good feet but now he feels like he’s a top player.”
Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard then added “He’s got a different body shape as well – he’s got shoulders, he’s more physical. When he was at Chelsea he was a baby in football terms, now he’s coming into the prime years of his career. He’s got that confidence from doing well at Roma, he’s in a good place and he’s come and started really well and that’s just continued.”
Rio Ferdinand gave his two cents by saying “I think a big thing when you go to a new club is how you get your first step in the door. Are you coming to be a starter or are you coming to be a squad member to work your way into the first team? I think at Chelsea it was evident he was coming to work his way in, so there was a confidence issue maybe. It seems from what the guys have said about him that he’s not one to be out there with all the bravado and that he’s quite a laid back character. He’s come to Liverpool as a starter and you’re seeing the benefits in his performance.”
Lampard knows Salah personally from their time together in West London, and praised his attitude saying he’s risen to the challenge of a big club “with real humility”, adding that “I like to see these players that score week in week out and don’t do all the interviews after the game. Maybe he’s a bit shy but I like the humility in him as well.”
Gerrard summed up the Egyptian by saying that he “does his talking on the pitch. Maybe he’s not too confident with his English right now but it doesn’t matter. He can forget all the interviews as long as he keeps scoring.”
Salah has silenced several critics in the early stages of his Liverpool career, and will hope to continue to do so in Liverpool’s next game against Stoke next weekend, where he may meet fellow Pharaoh Ramadan Sobhi.
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