Martin Keown defends Chelsea’s decision to sell Liverpool star

The Arsenal legend defends Chelsea's decision to sell Mohamed Salah and Romelu Lukaku

Mohamed Salah with Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger Photo: Mohamed Salah / Instagram

Martin Keown has defended Chelsea’s decision to allow Mohamed Salah and Romelu Lukaku to leave Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea signed Salah in an £11m deal from Swiss champions Basel in the 2014 January transfer window after seeing off competition from Liverpool in the African star.

However, the Egypt international struggled to break into Jose Mourinho’s first-team and was sent out on loan at the start of the 2014-15 season.

Salah was sold to AS Roma for a profit in a £16m deal in 2016 despite making no impact at Stamford Bridge following loan spells at the Rome outfit and Fiorentina.

The 25-year-old has scored 11 goals in 15 games in the Premier League and the Champions League this season after Liverpool signed Salah in a £39m deal from Roma in the summer.

Romelu Lukaku has netted seven goals in 11 games in the top flight for new club Manchester United this term after the Red Devils made the striker their second-most expensive signing ever back in July.

The Belgian forward moved to Chelsea from Anderlecht in 2011 but was sent out on loan to West Brom and Everton before Mourinho sanctioned the sale of the Chelsea starlet to the Toffees in 2014.

While Lukaku and Salah are now two of the biggest stars in the Premier League, former Arsenal defender Keown can understand why Chelsea made the decision to offload the duo.

“These players are all so talented that it clearly was the wrong decision for Chelsea to let them go,” Keown told the Daily Mail.

“But when these decisions were made, these players were not better than those in Chelsea’s first team.

“It is always difficult to keep one eye on the future and Chelsea had already sent Salah and Lukaku out on loan.”

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