Could £11m winger become Chelsea's forgotten man?

Mohamed Salah has made an encouraging start to life at Stamford Bridge - but will it be enough?

It is not easy making an impression at Chelsea.

When Mohamed Salah was scoring against the Blues, inflicting shock Champions League defeats against Jose Mourinho's men, it was a lot easier for the Egyptian to stand out.

Now, however, the 22-year-old is an understudy to the likes of Eden Hazard, Oscar, Willian and more.

With his blistering pace more a par for the course and his dribbling ability overshadowed by that of Hazard and co, Salah faces the challenge of having to adapt to a higher level of competition - or fading away into the background at Stamford Bridge.

  TeamPosGoalsAssistsDribbles Won / appAccurate Crosses / appsAppsMins
Eden Hazard Chelsea FW 14 7 3.77 0.31 35 2,895
Oscar Chelsea MF 8 2 0.76 0.58 33 2,143
André Schürrle Chelsea FW 8 2 0.63 0.57 30 1,326
Demba Ba Chelsea FW 5 1 0.16 0 19 661
Fernando Torres Chelsea FW 5 5 1.18 0.14 28 1,571
Willian Chelsea MF 4 2 1.52 1.52 25 1,677
Mohamed Salah Chelsea MF 2 1 1.60 0.20 10 500

As Opta stats show, the Egyptian did well in his first season in west London, scoring twice, registering an assist and averaging more successful dribbles per game than several of his competitors.

However, with Cesc Fabregas's arrival at Chelsea - along with Diego Costa's - only those that truly impress Mourinho will have any chance of getting regular game time this time around.

That puts more pressure on Salah because Fabregas can play both in central midfield and at no.10, while Oscar, Willian, Hazard and Andre Schurrle have all had the bonus of the World Cup to stake their claim for a place in the attacking midfield triumvirate.

Salah is not versatile enough to play in central midfield and the Blues already have enough strikers for Mourinho to try to use the 22-year-old up front. That means the winger, brought to Stamford Bridge for £11million in January, has to have a blistering second season at Chelsea or risk becoming the club's forgotten man.

As young as Salah is, if he cannot establish himself within the first-team squad, the possibility of leaving west London on loan is too risky to be considered a long-term strategy to get into the Blues' side. As Romelu Lukaku will tell you, season-long loan spells don't always guarantee you a starting berth upon your return.

Keep a watchful eye on the Egyptian next term, then, for anything other than spectacular might not be enough for him.

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