Micah Richards has lavished his former teammate, Mo Salah, with praise, claiming that the Egyptian was capable, as far back as his Fiorentina days, of Leo Messi-esque moments.
The 29-year-old has been in scintillating form this term, registering six goal contributions in five games across all competitions.
“From what I saw in training each day, I couldn’t understand how he had not ripped it up for Chelsea,” the BT Sport pundit wrote in his column for the Daily Mail.
“We were all scratching our heads: how could someone of his ability be allowed to leave on loan?
“I’m not making a comparison with Lionel Messi but he was doing things that were Messi-like.
“Football is littered with stories of players who are brilliant in training but don’t do it on match day but Mo – from the evidence I had – was not like that.”
The No.11’s spell in London was short-lived, with his time in Italy later attracting the attention of Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, prompting a successful switch back to the Premier League.
Though Chelsea have been fortunate enough to gain a second chance with Romelu Lukaku following a likewise remarkable spell in Serie A, there’s no question that the club’s hierarchy will be kicking themselves over failing to see Salah’s potential.
Their loss, of course, is undoubtedly our gain, with the Egyptian now four league goals away from matching Didier Drogba’s record as Africa’s highest goalscorer in the Premier League.
With Sadio Mane yet to reach the kind of heights we know the Senegalese is capable of – and with Diogo Jota currently hitting the mark – the season could very well prove to be an exciting (and potentially successful) one for us.