‘He is one of our sons!’: Todd Boehly is slammed for claiming Mo Salah came from Chelsea’s academy by chief of the Liverpool star’s first club in Egypt – as he accuses the ‘ignorant’ American owner of a ‘lack of understanding’
- Al Mokawloon director Mohamed Adel Fathi hits out at Chelsea’s Todd Boehly
- Boehly was criticised after claiming Mo Salah came from the Blues academy
- Salah is considered one of the Egyptian club’s ‘sons’ as he spent six years there
Chelsea owner Todd Boehly has been slammed by the director of Liverpool star Mo Salah’s first club in Egypt.
Salah started his career at Cairo-based team Al Mokawloon after spending four years in the club’s academy between 2006 and 2010.
The Egyptian attacker went on to play 38 league games for the club, scoring 11 goals before moving to Swiss side Basel in 2012.
Chelsea signed the then 21-year-old Mohamed Salah from Swiss side Basel in 2014
It was his form at Basel that earned him the move to Chelsea in 2014, when he was 21.
Al Mokawloon director Mohamed Adel Fathi has now hit back at Boehly after he claimed at a conference in the United States this week that Salah was a Chelsea academy graduate.
Fathi accused Boehly, who was widely criticised for his comments, of ‘showing a lack of understanding’ and being ‘ignorant’.
He said in a Facebook post, via GOAL: ‘What the new owner of Chelsea says shows a lack of understanding.
‘Mohamed Salah is a source of pride for the Al Mokawloon Club and Egyptian and Arab football, and we are honoured that he is one of our sons.
Chelsea owner Todd Boehly claimed the club’s academy produced Mo Salah despite his previous clubs
‘The whole world knows Salah’s career and how he started with us, but it seems that the owner of Chelsea is the only person in the world who is ignorant of this information.’
Salah failed to prove himself at Chelsea and was eventually loaned out to Serie A sides Fiorentina and Roma, with the latter opting to buy him from the Blues.
During his time in Italy’s capital, Salah rediscovered his best form which earned him a move back to the Premier League with Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.
Salah is one of the best players in the Premier League at Liverpool after flopping at Chelsea
Since the move to the Reds, Salah has gone onto to become one of the most prolific players the league has ever seen, scoring 120 goals in 186 games in England, as well as winning the Premier League and Champions League.
Boehly made the claim at the SALT forum in New York as he was praising his newly acquired club’s youth academy, suggesting that it deserves credit for developing stars such as Salah and Belgian international and Genk academy product Kevin De Bruyne, as well as Cobam talents such as Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham.
He told SALT: ‘We have one of the best academies in the world.
‘If you look at what our academy has developed, our academy is Mo Salah, Kevin De Bruyne. More recently, Tammy Abraham, Reece James, Mason Mount, Trevoh Chalobah.’
Boehly also claimed Kevin De Bruyne is from the Blues despite the club signing him from Genk
De Bruyne, now at Manchester City, came through the academy system at Genk in his native Belgium and played 113 times for their first team before Chelsea bought him as a 20-year-old for £7m in January 2012.
Like Salah, he rarely played for the club, making only nine first-team appearances, though he was sent on loan to Werder Bremen in his first season.
It was only when he joined Wolfsburg in 2014 that his career took off again and he duly developed into one of the world’s best players after City signed him for £55m in August 2015.
Both players were international footballers for Egypt and Belgium respectively when Chelsea signed them.