Football

Former Chelsea star Ashley Cole admits shock over ‘ruthless’ Salah

Ashley Cole has revealed that he didn't expect former Chelsea teammate Mohamed Salah to become one of Europe's leading forward players.

The pair played together in 2014 before Cole left for AS Roma, while Salah, who struggled to nail down a first-team place, was loaned out to Fiorentina in 2015.

The Egyptian would then eventually link back up with Cole after the Blues decided to cash in on the winger by selling him to Roma in 2016.

Salah then signed for Liverpool in 2017 on the back of a prolific campaign for the Italian side and has continued his scoring exploits since.

The 26-year-old went on to break records in his debut season at Anfield, winning the English Premier League's Golden Boot and Player of the Season accolades.

This season, he is the joint top scorer of the EPL with Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero on 19 goals, and has 22 in total.

When asked if he saw Salah hitting such heights, Cole told Sky Sports: "To be honest, no.

"I saw in training the ability that he had, but he seems to have become more ruthless. I don't mean selfish in a bad way, but he wants to score goals. That's his job. He needs to score goals.

"Him, (Roberto) Firmino and (Sadio) Mane all play well together, but he's become a little bit more 'It's about me now, it's my time'.

"He's had enough of the other players being in the shadow and he wants to be the main man."

Jose Mourinho, Salah's manager when he was at Chelsea, blamed the club for selling the Egyptian, Sky Sports had reported in January.

"When the club decided to sell him, it was not me. I bought him, I didn't sell him, and my relationship with him was good, is good," he told beIN Sports.

"Lots of things have been told that are not true. People try to identify me as the coach who sold Salah; I am the coach who bought Salah. It's completely the wrong idea.

"Salah was a kid when I played against Basel in the Champions League... I analysed the team and the players for quite a long time and I fell in love with that kid. I bought the kid."

Football