Jose Mourinho has stoked the fires somewhat ahead of today’s big game between his Manchester United side and rivals Liverpool at Anfield.
The Portuguese tactician will need to nullify Reds star Mohamed Salah in this encounter, with the Egyptian goal machine proving one of the finest players in the Premier League since he joined the club last season.
Salah had played in England prior to that as well, however, flopping in a brief spell at Chelsea as a youngster, with Mourinho failing to recognise his potential when he managed him for that short time.
Speaking about the player’s form now, Mourinho insists Salah was not ready at that time, having given a few unimpressive displays, struggling to cope with making the step up at the time after arriving from Swiss side Basel.
The ex-Blues boss was less than flattering in his analysis of Salah back then, describing him as a ‘fragile boy’ who was overawed by trips to White Hart Lane and the Etihad Stadium.
‘The Salah I knew at Chelsea was a project player. Now he is one of the best in the world,’ Mourinho is quoted in the Metro.
‘He has developed incredibly well since then on every level. He was a fast fragile boy and how he is a fast strong man. Physically amazing.
‘He was not psychologically adapted to the Premier League when he came from a small club in Switzerland to a big club in England.
‘I played him at White Hart Lane and The Etihad and it was too much for him. Now he plays anywhere, Barcelona, Madrid, and he’s like “I am Mo Salah and I am afraid of nobody.”’
One has to wonder if Salah could in fact have made a bit more of an impact if given the chance by Mourinho, with the 26-year-old going on to improve very quickly upon leaving Stamford Bridge for spells in Serie A, first with Fiorentina and then Roma.