Jurgen Klopp has dismissed Mohamed Salah’s last disappointing spell in England as an irrelevance, arguing a number of top class players have struggled at Chelsea.
Liverpool manager Klopp referenced Kevin De Bruyne as another example of a talented youngster who – like Salah – has thrived after failing to impress at Stamford Bridge earlier in his career.
Salah moved to Liverpool from Roma this summer for an initial £36 million, and almost made the move to Anfield three years earlier from Basel during Brendan Rodgers’ reign. Klopp revealed he too wanted to take the Egyptian winger to Borussia Dortmund at that time.
Instead, the personal intervention of Jose Mourinho – allied to Chelsea making a higher offer with the funds from Juan Mata’s sale to Manchester United– scuppered Liverpool’s plans.
Then Salah endured a troubled spell under former Chelsea coach Mourinho.
“A lot of players have shown it is quite easy to struggle at Chelsea. (Kevin) De Bruyne is one,” said Klopp.
“The only thing that we really ignored was what he did at Chelsea. When he was at Basel we (Dortmund) played them and we didn’t know him. It was ‘what the f**k?’. It was unbelievable. The moment I said ‘let’s go for him’ he was already at Chelsea.
“Then he struggled at Chelsea because it was too early. Then he went to Fiorentina and then Roma. “The question is ‘what did you not see in him?’ because he played all inclusive football. He was quick, he played a lot of games, he created goals and chances and he scored by himself.”