History should make Chelsea wary of loaning Mohamed Salah to Everton

Chelsea should look to the failure of Christian Atsu at Everton when considering Salah departure.

Salah is likely to leave Stamford Bridge in the summer, with a reported four clubs interested in the Egyptian winger.

Despite impressing in a series of cameo appearances for the Blues, the 22-year-old has struggled to break in to Jose Mourinho’s first-team this campaign, with the form of Eden Hazard, Oscar and Willian removing him from the picture. Andre Schurrle and Ramires have also been selected ahead of the youngster, and the Mirror has reported that he could be going out on loan in January - with Everton one of the interest parties.

If Salah was to move to Merseyside, it would coincide with the return of Ghanaian winger Christian Atsu, who has been at Goodison Park since the start of the campaign.

However, the Blues should look at the case of Atsu, and seriously consider sending Salah to a different Premier League club.

Atsu, also 22-years-old, arrived at Stamford Bridge on the back of a number of promising seasons with Porto, before immediately going out on loan to Blues’ sister club Vitesse. The 28-capped international made 30 appearances in the Netherlands, winning his inclusion in the Black Stars squad for the 2014 World Cup. He returned to Stamford Bridge over the summer, and wisely made the move away with first-team opportunities looking limited.

Everton should have been the perfect location for the youngster, with the wing positions arguably the weakest point of Roberto Martinez’s squad. He should have been enjoying consistent football in a team with ambitions for Champions League qualification, whilst also turning out in the Europa League, but it has not worked out that way.

Atsu has made just eight appearances this term, starting one game in each of the Premier League, League Cup and Europa League. Playing on the right wing, his position in the starting XI has been usually occupied by Aiden McGeady - who has done little to impress. On the other wing, Ross Barkley is often found cutting in onto his strong right foot - narrowing the game - whilst McGeady himself prefers working his way into the box rather than crossing the ball.

Despite possessing a big striker in the form of Romelu Lukaku, the Toffees hardly ever play with a classic out-and-out winger, and Atsu has struggled to make an impact because of his direct play. Salah performs in much the same manner, preferring a direct run down the wing rather than a skilful move to work into the box, and his style of play would limit any opportunities should he make the move to Merseyside.

It seems strange that Everton would even consider making a move for Salah in exchange for Atsu when they could utilise the man they already possess. Both winers perform the same role, and Martinez is unlikely to favour one over the other when keeping his style of play intact.

For Chelsea, it is their decision where they send Salah, but history should make them aware that Goodison Park may just not be the best training ground for their young prospect.

Register for EVERTON team updates

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch