Monday 25 September 2017

Salah seeks career boost in Italy

Egypt winger Mohamed Salah has made just three Barclays Premier League appearances for Chelsea
Egypt winger Mohamed Salah has made just three Barclays Premier League appearances for Chelsea

Mohamed Salah believes his loan move to Fiorentina will help jump-start his career after a disappointing spell at Chelsea.

The Egypt international arrived in Florence on Wednesday to begin a six-month loan deal from Chelsea, with the Tuscan club boasting an option to make his move permanent this summer.

"I am truly happy to be here," Salah told Fiorentina's official television channel. "I really hope this is a step forward in my career.

"I know that my move to Fiorentina has generated a lot of interest in Egypt and I hope I can do well and help the team succeed."

Salah, 22, made just three Barclays Premier League appearances for Chelsea after joining the Blues from Basle in January 2014.

Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Montella is ready to hand Salah a starring role following the departure of Colombian winger Juan Cuadrado to Chelsea last week.

Salah cannot wait to get started and is particularly looking forward to Fiorentina's upcoming Europa League meeting with Tottenham.

The Viola travel to London on February 19 and hosts Spurs a week later in the second leg.

Salah scored his first Europa League goal against Tottenham in the 2012-13 campaign, helping Basle reach the semi-finals as they beat Spurs 4-1 on penalties after a 4-4 aggregate draw.

"I have already played against Tottenham twice in the Europa League and scored a very important goal for me and for Basle," he said. "I also provided five assists in that competition.

"I am really excited about that meeting."

Salah has joined a Fiorentina side who are sixth in Serie A and who have reached the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia after ousting Roma from the competition.

"I watched Fiorentina's game at Roma and I really like the team,"he said. "I can't wait to get started."

Salah is not the first Egyptian to play for Fiorentina, as defender Ahmed Hegazy spent two seasons in Florence before joining Serie B side Perugia this year.

"Hegazy advised me to come here and that I would play more often," he said. "He also told me there are great players who are very friendly and this experience will help my professional growth."

Salah could make his Serie A debut on Sunday at home to Atalanta provided he receives his work permit in time.

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