Egyptian Mohamed Salah proposed transfer move to Chelsea is a bad idea for the player.

January 24, 2014 3:42 pm0 comments by:

Mohamed  Salah

I have read a few famous football figures biographies so far. I enjoy mostly the books written after the biography has retired from the sport. They provide an honest perspective of their playing journey, decisions made or not taken during their career. They always have at least a costly or beneficial decision that they made during their playing career. They tell you why it was made but leave you with a feeling that of what if.

These  scenarios  revolve around contract talks, reactions to transfer enquiries or completed moves. In a period, were there are statistics for every incident on in sports. I would still  be surprised, if a football player knows exactly all the clubs that have made enquires. Clubs may plan to make a  formal enquiry or media might write about an informal interest but not formally make their interest known to a player or club. However, every professional player has to decide at least once whether a move is right or wrong.

We would know in a future biography or interview as to whether the midfielder Mohamed Salah has made the correct decision, if the proposed transfer to Chelsea is completed this month. The indication is that he is due to undergo a medical in London, as Chelsea and Basle have agreed a transfer fee in a region of £11 million.

This is on the back of a slow January period with most of the big clubs choosing not to conduct any dealings. However, it has not prevented scouts, agents or media demanding from coaches or sources for scoops, confirmation or suggestions. This is the reason why Liverpool’s interest in the Egyptian Salah was on the news way back on  3rd January 2014.

The conclusion gathered from the various media sources was that Liverpool was very interested in the player. It was mentioned as a side note that a few English clubs had scouted the player but no formal enquiry. Nevertheless, the conclusion was that Liverpool were the front runner and in formal negotiations with the Swiss Club Basle.

Fast forward on 23rd January 2014, one of the known interested clubs Chelsea announced a transfer fee agreement had been reached with Salah’s current club Basle. The normal reaction should be for the media and Liverpool to be surprised at the sudden Chelsea interest. Instead, the media have accepted that Chelsea have no case to answer. The highest bidder gets the players club’s attention and the player’s signature. Liverpool appears not to have accepted defeat but will do so very soon. Observers will conclude that it is the scars to bear, if you decide not to say YES to the million dollar question.

How much is this player worth? Are you willing to pay a million, two or three million above your original valuation for a player. You might ask what about transfer deals that fall through after clubs agree fee. If you look closer, it comes back to the key question. Is the club willing to pay the agreed transfer fee, agent’s fees, and wages considering that the player has not met one of the criteria?

In this case, Liverpool has not met the Basle valuation of the player. The rumour is that Liverpool wants Salah as an impact player and so paying more than £8 Million seems unreasonable. You can understand their stance at not paying above their own valuation.
Chelsea might also want the player for the same reasons but feel it is in a position to meet Basle’s valuation. They have said YES to the million question and look likely to have Mohamed Salah as a player on 1st February 2014. Liverpool will have to decide whether to change their stance. My view is that Liverpool will not change their minds just like they did with regards interests in Spurs Sigurdsson, Chelsea’s Willian and Fulham Dempsey.

I wonder whether there is a difference to paying three million less or more for a player, apart from the financial impact. It is commendable that a football club accused recently for paying too much for players seem now to take an extreme opposite route. It is becoming an unwanted tag that might scupper the Merseyside’s quest for champion’s league spot.

For the player, Salah needs to answer rightly the question also posed to Liverpool and Chelsea. It is easy to choose Chelsea as the preferred candidate. There are obvious advantages joining a club based in London. He is guaranteed champions league spot for next season at least. The club is based in London which is supposed to be preferable for overseas players than other UK cities.

However, a switch to Liverpool will mean playing in one of the best stadium. It is possible that he will be playing in champion’s league next season. He will reunite with another similar Liverpool player Oussama Assaidi, who is on a season loan to Stoke. This advantage is also a disadvantage as Assaidi has not been able to make the Liverpool team. There is no guarantee that he will command a regular spot.

It boils down to which of the clubs will further his career at favourable wage package. He also needs to consider the wishes of the family and friends before saying YES to Chelsea or Liverpool. If I was in his position, I will choose none and stay another season in Switzerland.

Basle are on top of the Swiss league and look certain to be in the Champion’s league, next season.I mentioned that he will not command a regular spot in Liverpool but that also applies to Chelsea. In addition, English premier league is not the best place  for a young African player still learning his craft.

You might disagree with me with valid reason. You are entitled to your view. We will agree to disagree but the parties concerned have to make a choice and hope it is the correct one.

Obioma Aguocha
Self Publisher:The Guide to being the Best (Paperback) 2007 & Sporting Success Simplified (E-book) 2012

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