Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has admitted that he is ‘surprised’ by Mohamed Salah’s form for Liverpool this season, but has refused to take any blame for allowing him to leave Chelsea earlier in his career.
Salah has stunned the Premier League since his £35 million move from Roma last summer, scoring an incredible 43 goals, including equalling the the Premier League record of 31 league goals in a season.
Speaking to ESPN Brazil, Mourinho acknowledged the sensational season being enjoyed by the newly crowned PFA Player of the Year:
“I think everything has surprised even him. It has been fantastic,” said the Manchester United boss.
“But he is a great player that has reached the peak of maturity, he has already lived several other experiences and now has fitted perfectly into the style of play of the team, of the coach and of the club as well. So it doesn’t surprise me that much.”
Salah’s sensational form has seen many to point fingers at the now Manchester United boss, who initially signed the Egyptian during his second stint at Chelsea. He was ultimately allowed to leave the club after little over a year, but the Portuguese boss claims that he is not the one to blame:
“It is the first time that I am going to say this, but it is another injustice that has been talked about me.
“People say that I was the one that sold Salah and it is the opposite – I bought Salah!
“It is the opposite. I was the one that bought Salah. I was the one that told Chelsea to buy Salah. It was with me in charge that Salah came to Chelsea. But he came as a young kid, physically he was not ready, mentally he was not ready, socially and culturally he was lost and everything was tough for him.
“We decided to put him on loan and he asked for that as well. He wanted to play more minutes, to mature, he wanted to go and we sent him on loan to Fiorentina, and at Fiorentina he started to mature.
“Chelsea decided to sell him, OK?
“And when they say that I was the one that sold him it is a lie. I bought him. I agreed to send him on loan, I thought it was necessary, I thought that Chelsea had wingers… Some of them are still there like Willian, Hazard and all those players already in a different level.
“So the decision to send him on loan was a decision we made collectively, but after that, the decision to sell him and to use that money to buy another player wasn’t mine. But even if it was, in football we make mistakes a lot of times, so many times some players develop in way we were not expecting, some other don’t reach another level like we thought they would, so I don’t even think this is a mistake, it is just part of the job.
“But effectively I did buy Salah, I didn’t sell Salah, but it doesn’t matter. What matters is that he is a fantastic player, and I am really happy for everything that is happening for him and especially because he scores against everyone and he didn’t score against us in two games.”