Former Chelsea man Paul Canoville has backed out-of-favour midfielder Mohamed Salah to come good at Stamford Bridge, as long as he improved his end product.
The 22-year-old winger arrived from Swiss champions FC Basel in January for around £11 million but has made just 16 first-team appearances since, and there are reports that the club are preparing to ship him out on loan in the winter transfer window.
He was handed a start in Tuesday’s 2-1 Capital One Cup win at Shreswbury, but his inconsistent showing prompted manager Jose Mourinho to criticise both him and the efforts of the other fringe members of the team involved on the night.
Canoville, who played five seasons at Chelsea in the 1980s, believes the Egyptian international can still make the grade in north London, but warns that he needs to start showing something soon before the club decides to cut their losses.
‘He’s quick and he’s got tricks, but like me when I played, the final ball isn’t always right and he needs to work on that,’ he told West London Sport.
‘Chelsea are playing some serious one-touch football and I am not sure he’s used to it. But he has the ability to develop and he has promise and talent. You could see that when he was at Basel.
‘He needs game time and sharpness but at Chelsea you don’t get that unless you are doing it on the pitch from the off. He needs to do it right away, so it’s Catch 22.’