Chelsea winger Mohamed Salah has departed Stamford Bridge in order to sign a permanent deal with Roma, the club have confirmed.
The Egyptian born player was on loan at the Serie A side for all of last season and has now swapped his temporary position there for a more long-term one, He had previously been on loan with another Italian club in the form of Fiorentina.
The 24-year-old was signed by the Blues in January of 2014 for £11 million, having previously impressed the club’s hierarchy with his Champions League performances against them for his former club FC Basle. He struggled to win a place in Jose Mourinho’s starting XI, though, so a series of loan moves followed.
He is the sixteenth player to depart Stamford Bridge in some form or another since the arrival of the club’s new head coach Antonio Conte. The former Italy national manager has already sanctioned the departure of Baba Rahman on a season long loan to German side Schalke, as well as loan deals for numerous promising youngsters, such as Nathan Ake and Lewis Baker.
The club’s new head coach is starting to shape his squad, with Salah and Rahman’s departures coupled with the recent arrivals at the club of the Belgian striker Michy Batshuayi in a £33 million deal from Marseille and French defensive midfielder N’Golo Kante’s signing from Leicester City for a fee believed to be in the region of £30 million.
The former Juventus manager and player decided against recalling Salah to West London for a look at him in pre-season, instead opting to allow him to remain in Italy, He’s been there since he was loaned to Fiorentina at the end of the 2014-2015 Premier League season, having made just thirteen appearances for Chelsea during his time at Stamford Bridge. His actual on-pitch time amounted to less than ten games in Blue.
That contrasts widely with his time in the Italian capital. He made thirty-four league appearances for Roma, helping them to reach the last sixteen of both the Coppa Italia and the Champions League. They also finished third in Serie A, just two points behind Napoli and eleven off eventual league winners Juventus.
Salah also re-found his form in Italy. He finished as Roma’s top-scorer for the season, netting fourteen times in the league and fifteen times in all competitions. Some improvement considering he only scored two during his entire time at Chelsea. The goal scoring continued from where it had left off with Fiorentina. He scored six goals in sixteen games for the Viola.