Transfer rumour mill time… and the latest names to be thrown together are Mohamed Salah of Chelsea fame (well, sort of) and Tottenham. Two local rivals doing business is rare, due to the potential ‘egg on face’ scenario the selling side are always wary of, so this report has to be taken with a small pinch of salt. However, should it?
Well, we at FFC Towers think that Salah to Spurs would be a match made in heaven for the player, and the two sides involved. ‘Why?’ we hear you cry… well, here are FIVE reasons.
Now this is the big one, Salah needs game time. It’s hardly a shock that he shone at Basel, struggled at Chelsea and then was impressive again at Fiorentina – guess the two clubs he played regularly for! With competition for game time fierce and Stamford Bridge and Jose Mourinho a manager opposed to rotation, The Egyptian’s chances of becoming a first-team star at the age of 21-22 (he’s now 23) were always likely to be slim.
However, over at White Hart Lane, Mauricio Pochettino is a coach more akin to giving other options a go, while the Lilywhites hardly possess a wealth of wide attackers lighting up the Premier League.
Perhaps, as it stands, Salah is not quite at the level to compete for titles and European honours at one of the biggest clubs around. After all, his move came on the back of some impressive showings with Basel, who, no disrespect, are the big fish in a pretty tiny Swiss pond.
Featuring in the Europa League and challenging for a top four berth may be Salah’s level for now, and there’s nothing wrong with that at all at the age of 23. Spurs are very much in that niche, so it could be a match made in heaven…
Despite his struggles at Chelsea, Salah is indeed a talented player. Dubbed the ‘Egyptian Lionel Messi’ in his Basel days, capped 37 times at international level (with 21 goals to his name) and a league champion in Switzerland, the youngster clearly has talent.
Tottenham could use that ability, with supplying Harry Kane with ammunition certainly a priority heading into the 2015/16 campaign, in which the Lilywhites hero may have a tougher time from defenders.
The elephant in the room with this one seems to be the whole domestic and local rivalry between Chelsea and Spurs. Although the postcodes mean that the two clubs will always been London-based foes, are they actually teams competing directly against one another? The White Hart Lane outfit haven’t finished ahead of Chelsea since the 2011/12 campaign, and even that result (fourth and sixth respectively) was somewhat skewed by the Blues’ late season Champions League push.
In between times the West Londoners have kicked on to re-establish themselves as kings of the English game, while in the north of the capital, Tottenham have routinely sold their best players and failed to enter the Champions League since 2010.
Salah’s main strength is his ability to take on opposing full-backs with a mix of pace and trickery. Such a desire is always good in a wide attacker, with, ultimately, the aim of a traditional winger being to get past his man and deliver the ball to the strikers. Although the lines are somewhat blurred in Pochettino’s 4-2-3-1, with the attacking midfield three tasked with drifting to fill space, Salah appears to offer a different option. He’s more agile than Nacer Chadli, less infuriating than Andros Townsend, not as burdened by price-tag as Erik Lamela and pacier than Christian Eriksen.