It’s fair to say that Mohamed Salah’s loan move to Fiorentina is nothing sort of magical thus far. The Egyptian international moved to Florence in the January transfer window on loan from Chelsea, with Juan Cuadrado going the other way.
In that period, he has scored four times in seven league appearances for La Viola and two goals in the Coppa Italia, both against Juventus in the first leg. You may recall his first, which was phenomenal. He picked up the ball just inside his own half, ran 10 yards, poked the ball past a defender, left him in his slipstream, reached the penalty area and hit his shot high and across the goalkeeper, Marco Storari. Certainly my contender for goal of the season in Italy.
That day in the Juventus stadium, he helped his side to a 2-1 victory against the Old Lady. It was the first time Juve had lost at home for 23 months, since a 0-2 Champions League defeat in April 2013, against Bayern Munich. And it was the first time they had lost at home against an Italian team since January 2013. Salah really announced himself as a top player in Italy that night.
It must be horrible viewing for Chelsea and their fans. Juan Cuadrado hasn’t been able to cement a place in Jose Mourinho’s side. I’d be surprised if he doesn’t have a customized seat on the bench at Stamford Bridge very soon. The Colombian’s Chelsea career so far consists of just two Premier League starts and five substitute appearances.
To clarify the deal between between Fiorentina and Chelsea – La Viola have Mohamed Salah on loan for up to two years, but a fixed, €16m (£11.3m) transfer fee is in place should Fiorentina decide to make the deal permanent. If he continues in this manner, you’d expect the club sign him on a permanent basis. He’s still just 22 years of age, so that modest transfer fee shouldn’t be a stumbling block.
Italy have certainly warmed to the “the Messi of the Pyramids” as he is referred to by the local media. This was evident when a local restaurant created a pizza in his honour. The player himself has expressed his happiness at his new club, he posted a video of himself celebrating with the Fiorentina fans behind with the caption – ‘So much love for the amazing Viola fans.’
“Sincerely, we were not expecting an impact like this. We knew Salah was strong, but a start like this goes beyond anyone’s expectations. The boy is similar to Cuadrado, only that he scores more. I have a complete squad – and since January it has been stronger still.”
The side currently sit in fourth place, six points behind Lazio, who are in the final Champions League position. Considering Lazio’s recent form, it may be a challenge too far for Montella and his men to achieve Champions League qualification.
They do look good for achieving Europa League qualification and with this outstanding 2015, they can build on this for next season.
Originally posted for O-Posts