Roma sporting director Walter Sabatini admits he made a huge mistake in not signing Mohamed Salah from Chelsea. The Giallorossi were heavily linked with a loan move for the Egyptian forward during the January transfer window but it was their domestic rivals Fiorentina who secured a deal.
Salah joined La Viola on loan until the end of the season with an option of a permanent move as part of the deal that saw Juan Cuadrado move to Stamford Bridge for a reported £23.5m. Roma would instead focus their attention on bringing Seydou Doumbia and Victor Ibarbo to the club, both of whom have failed to score a single goal since their arrivals. After seeing Salah help eliminate his side from the Europa League, Sabatini admits he regrets his decision not sign the Egypt international.
"I made a mistake in January, the team needed reinforcements in attack," he told Sport Mediaset. "I have made choices that immediately have not been successful and the team has suffered, I'll have to take account of my mistakes. Salah? It's a regret, another mistake I made."
Salah has been an instant hit in Italy having scored six goals in his first 10 appearances and was again integral in Fiorentina's 3-0 over Roma in the Europa League on 19 March, a result which booked them a place in the quarter-finals.
Salah's immediate impact has even surprised his manager Vincenzo Montella, who believes only Lionel Messi is a better dribbler than his side's new star.
"Maybe right now we have got the better deal," Montella told Mediaset Premium when discussing the move that brought Salah to the club. "For now, we have benefited. We knew the superb characteristics of the player, but we did not expect him to have such an impact on Italian football. Perhaps only Messi is faster than him with the ball at one's feet."