On transfer deadline, 2 February 2015, Chelsea confirmed that Salah would play for the Italian club Fiorentina on an 18-month loan until the end of the 2015–16 season, as part of a transfer deal which saw Juan Cuadrado moving in the opposite direction. Salah chose the number 74 shirt in honor of the victims of the Port Said Stadium riot. At the end of the season, Fiorentina reportedly activated an option to make the loan move permanent, but Salah refused the move. Even though the loan agreement was for 18 months, Salah refused to return to Fiorentina and instead joined fellow Serie A club Roma.
Things to Know:
A quick, mobile, hard-working and tactical player, with good technique and an eye for goal, Salah is predominantly known for his speed, dribbling skills, first touch, and ball control, as well as his ability to use both his pace and flair on the ball in order to beat opponents, and create scoring opportunities for himself or his teammates. A versatile forward, he primarily plays as a winger on the right flank, a position which allows him to cut into the centre onto his stronger left foot, and either shoot on goal or play quick exchanges with other players; he can also play in the centre behind the main striker as either an attacking midfielder or second striker. On his increased threat in front of goal since joining Liverpool, Salah credits Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp’s request for him to occupy more central positions, with the forward telling ESPN, “I play closer to the goal than any club before.” Upon signing for Chelsea, José Mourinho said of Salah: “He’s young, he’s fast, he’s creative, he’s enthusiastic. When we analysed him he looks the kind of humble personality on the pitch, ready to work for the team.” Mourinho went on to say that Salah has “similar qualities” with “talented players” that he had worked with, such as Gareth Bale and Arjen Robben. His technical skills, pace, position and direct playing style led him to be nicknamed the “Egyptian Messi”, in the Italian media. Brazilian World Cup winner Ronaldo stated, “Salah is an incredible player with a tremendous quality. He looks like Messi.”