Eden Hazard says Mohamed Salah did not get the chance to establish himself at Chelsea and has described the Liverpool forward as a “top, top player”.
Salah joined Chelsea in 2014 but was limited to 19 appearances for the club before being sent out on loan to Fiorentina early the following year.
The 25-year old then spent a season-long loan at AS Roma before joining the Italian club permanently in 2016.
Salah returned to the Premier League by joining Liverpool in July for £34.3m and is the competition’s top scorer with nine goals in 12 games, while Hazard admits he was not given the opportunity to showcase his ability during his Chelsea spell.
“He’s a top, top, top player,” said Hazard. “He did not get his chance at Chelsea maybe because of the manager, because of the other players? I don’t know.
“He has quality but in that period I remember we had me, Willian, Oscar, so for him it was not easy.”
Champions Chelsea will travel to Anfield to face Liverpool on Saturday, with Antonio Conte’s men three points ahead of their rivals.
Hazard – who has scored six goals in 15 appearances for his club this season – says he’s looking to facing with his former teammate and is hopeful the Blues’ squad are fresh enough to produce a performance following their midweek Champions League win.
“He is a fantastic striker and this season he has scored a lot of goals. It is always good to play against a friend but Liverpool is not only about Salah. They have a lot of quality players.”
“A lot of players didn’t play on Wednesday [in the Champions League victory against Qarabag] and I played only 60 minutes and N’Golo [Kante] also came off, so we can be fresh on Saturday, even if the game is close,” the 26-year old added.