Chelsea Football Club today completed the signing of Mohamed Salah from FC Basel.
The Egyptian international signed a five-and-a-half-year contract and will wear the number 15 shirt.
A quick, inventive attacking-midfielder, Salah moves to Stamford Bridge having played against us twice for Basel in the group stages of this season’s Champions League, when he scored in both matches, as well as in last season’s Europa League, when he was also on target in the second leg of our semi-final.
The 21-year-old’s versatility ensures he is comfortable playing on either flank or occupying a more central role behind a striker.
Born in Gharbeya, Egypt, Salah’s career began at El Mokawloon where, after progressing through the club’s ranks, he made his first-team debut in May 2010 in a 1-1 draw against Mansoura.
The 2010/11 campaign saw Salah establish himself as a regular and he scored his first senior goal during a 1-1 draw against Al Ahly.
The following season he continued to impress, but following the Port Said Stadium disaster in February 2012, in which many supporters lost their lives, the Egyptian Premier League fixtures were put on hold.
The following month, Basel organised a friendly against the Egypt Under-23 team, and the game helped shape the next stage in Salah’s career as he scored twice in a 4-3 win, earning an invitation to train with the Swiss side.
The trial period was a success and shortly afterwards it was announced he had signed for the club on a permanent deal.
His time at El Mokawloon came to an end with Salah having scored 11 goals in 35 appearances. He was named the Confederation of African Football’s Most Promising African Talent of the Year for 2012.
He made his debut for Basel in the preliminary rounds of last season’s Champions League, appearing as a substitute against Molde. Four days later he made his league bow in a game against Thun, with his first goal following soon after in a 2-0 victory against Lausanne.
In the Europa League, Salah netted his first European goal as they beat Tottenham Hotspur over two legs in the quarter-finals, setting up a semi-final clash with Chelsea.
After the Blues secured a 2-1 away win in the first leg, Salah was on target in the return at Stamford Bridge, but his goal made little difference to the outcome as we ran out 5-2 aggregate winners to progress to the final.
The domestic season ended on a more positive note when Basel were crowned Swiss Super League champions. Salah was named Swiss Player of the Year for the 2012/13 campaign.
When Basel visited Stamford Bridge for our opening Champions League group game in September, it was Salah’s strike which cancelled out Oscar’s opener with the visitors running out 2-1 winners, and he netted the only goal of the game in the reverse fixture in Switzerland.
Salah made his final competitive Basel appearance in a game against Lucerne in December. He ended his time at the club having scored 20 goals in 79 appearances.
Having represented Egypt at the 2011 FIFA Under-20 World Cup, and helping his country finish third at the 2011 African Under-23 Championships, Salah made his senior debut against Sierra Leone in September of the same year.
The following summer he was part of the Egyptian squad which took part at the 2012 London Olympics, and though they exited at the quarter-final stage, it was a tournament in which Salah caught the eye, scoring in all three group matches.
He scored his first goal for the senior side in a 3-0 win against Niger, and in a 4-2 win over Zimbabwe in June he netted his first hat-trick at international level. He has 27 caps and 17 international goals.
Salah is the first Egyptian to sign for Chelsea.