Legendary coach Jose Mourinho recently shed light on the departures of Kevin De Bruyne and Mohamed Salah from Chelsea, shedding new insight into their exits.
Despite their incredible success at Manchester City and Liverpool, respectively, the duo’s journey in the Premier League began at Stamford Bridge. De Bruyne arrived from K.R.C Genk in 2012, while Salah joined from FC Basel in 2014.
Loan spells punctuated their time at Chelsea before both players found permanent homes elsewhere, with De Bruyne heading to City in 2015 and Salah signing for Liverpool in 2016 from AS Roma.
Criticism aimed at Mourinho for letting go of these now-superstar players has been prevalent. However, Mourinho took the opportunity to clarify the circumstances surrounding their departures during an interview on John Obi Mikel’s Obi One podcast.
Contrary to popular belief, Mourinho claimed he wasn’t the force behind their exits: “They left because they wanted to leave. They left because they didn’t want to wait. When people tell me, ‘You let Salah go’, I say exactly the opposite. I bought Salah. I was the one who said, ‘Buy that guy’. He was going from Basel to Liverpool and I made the fight to make him come to Chelsea.”
Mourinho’s assertion gives a different perspective on the departures of De Bruyne and Salah from Chelsea, suggesting it was their desire for immediate opportunities elsewhere rather than a managerial decision that propelled their exits.
Both players have since thrived, establishing themselves as pivotal figures in the Premier League, a testament to their incredible talent and the impact they’ve had at their respective clubs post their Chelsea spells.