A former Chelsea player has revealed that Jose Mourinho once had Liverpool attacker Mo Salah “in tears” after the manager “massively ripped into him”.
Salah first moved to the Premier League in 2014 as he joined Chelsea from Swiss side FC Basel.
The 30-year-old was very raw at this stage and he was unable to make an impact at Stamford Bridge. He only managed to score two goals in 19 appearances before he joined Roma permanently in 2016.
The Egypt international rebuilt his career in Serie A and returned to the Premier League a year later as Liverpool signed him for £43m.
Salah has been a sensation at Liverpool as he has scored 174 goals in 286 outings across all competitions.
The forward has established himself as one of the best players in the world at Liverpool and it is fair to say that he has come a long way compared to how he was at Chelsea.
Mikel has now recalled that Mourinho once had Salah “in tears” during half-time while they were together at Chelsea.
“I think [Salah] was having a bad game and then obviously Mourinho came in and ripped into him, massively ripped into him,” Mikel said on Dubai Eye.
When asked if he ever expected Salah to go on to become one of the world’s best players, Mikel answered: “No. He was in tears, and what happened is [Mourinho] didn’t let him back onto the pitch in the second half. He took him off.
“It would have been easy to just take him off and say ‘you’re not playing well, off you go, sit down, you’re not going back onto the pitch’. But he ripped into him and took him off.”
Kevin De Bruyne also had troubles at Chelsea before he found his feet at Wolfsburg and Man City. Mikel added that the Belgium international “was always moody” while with the London outfit.
“Kevin was always a stroppy guy, he was always on his own, he was always moody, he was always grumpy. You could never get anything out of him,” Mikel added.
“But now when I watch him play… what a joy. What a joy to watch.”
When asked if both De Bruyne and Salah’s struggles at Chelsea was the making of them, he continued: “I think so when I look at it. You can also say with [Romelu] Lukaku as well, he went to Inter Milan but he went back and it didn’t work out.
“But when I look at the likes of Kevin de Bruyne and Mo Salah, what they’ve become now, the best players in the world, it’s amazing to see. They’ve become physically stronger, they’ve become faster. I don’t know what happened to them!”
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