The English Premier League is where stars are born. It is also where young guns go to die… only to be rejuvenated as dynamos in the big leagues of Europe.
Some say it is the English culture, others swear it is the grim weather. What we do know for sure is the English Premier League
is the most gruelling and competitive league to play in… and as such only the best survive.
Guys like Victor Wanyama
of Kenya have toughed it out and made their mark at top clubs like Tottenham Hotspurs. Others have struggled miserably to make an initial impact in the Premier League.
Let’s take a look at three players who bombed out of the top tier of English football only to become superstars somewhere else.
Mohamed Salah needs no introduction. He is one of the leading goal scorers in the Premiership and a man who was more than instrumental in Liverpool’s ascendancy to the Champions League throne.
However, Salah’s first spell in England was anything but impressive. After Chelsea paid Swiss club Basel £11 million for his services, the then 22-year-old spent most of his time at the central London club warming the bench.
According to manager Jose Mourinho the reserved young Egyptian had problems adapting to the English way of life. Salah made just 13 appearances and scored two goals for Chelsea before being shipped off to Serie A club Fiorentina on loan.
Mourinho together with the talking heads at Chelsea arguably made one of the poorest decisions ever when they agreed to sell Salah to Roma FC. The 29 goals he scored during his time at the Stadio Olimpico must have really stung… but there was worse to come.
In 2017 Mohamed Salah signed up with Liverpool for a fee of nearly £40 million. In his first season with The Reds he scored 32 goals in 36 matches, a record-breaking feat that earned him the Golden Boot. Salah went on to finish the 2018-19 season as the joint leading goal scorer in the English Premier League - and he ain’t done yet!
Colombian winger Juan Cuadrado was another victim of Jose Mourinho’s poorly thought out whims. In 2015 he left the Italian club Fiorentina to join Chelsea but made only 13 appearances in his one and only season in England.
Cuadrado did however win the League Cup before being bundled off to Juventus, first on loan and then permanently. In the Serie A the talented footballer known for his electrifying pace and dribbling skills won three domestic doubles back to back.
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That is three Serie A titles and three Coppa Italia in three consecutive years - now who wouldn’t want that kind of record after being considered a dud by both Mourinho and later, Antonio Conte?
Frenchman, Florian Thauvin worked his way up for Ligue 2 - where he was named Young Player of the Year - to the top flight in France. He enjoyed a particularly fruitful time at Olympique de Marseille, striking 13 times in 69 appearances.
His achievements on the field attracted the attention of Newcastle United who promptly signed a five-year deal with the then 22-year-old Thavuin, a deal reputed to be worth around £15 million.
The young winger started only four times for The Magpies and lasted less than half a season before being loaned back to Marseilles.
Back at the Stade Velodrome where he still plies his trade, Florian Thauvin has scored 55 goals in 119 appearances. Dud anyone? I think not!
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