The number of days that Wigan striker Amr Zaki will be a Wigan Athletic player are numbered. Even when the Egyptian ends his loan spell and becomes a Wigan player, it’s only a matter of time before a massive club signs one of the brightest, most talented players the Premier League has seen in years.
The more I watch Zaki, the more he impresses. He’s scored six goals this season, but it’s not just his ability to score that has caught my attention.
Zaki uses his upper body strength well to ensure that he’s not knocked off the ball. He likes the physical element and isn’t afraid to go into a tackle 50/50 to try to win the ball. Other strikers in the Premier League would be brushed aside, but Zaki makes his presence known by trying to win every ball.
One of the most important attributes of a Premier League striker is attitude. Zaki doesn’t get involved in verbal arguments with referees or opposition players. Instead he seems humble and has a good head on his shoulders deciding to let his football do the talking.
His football skills are brilliant, too. Not only his ability to knock the ball into the back of the net, but also his positioning in and around the goal area, and his ability to control the ball. A perfect example was in the closing minutes of yesterday’s impressive 2-1 win against Manchester City when Zaki received the ball and had two Man City defenders to beat. He was able to bring the ball down and shake off two City defenders and then take a shot on goal that would have gone in if it wasn’t for City goalkeeper Joe Hart who tipped the ball over the crossbar.
Zaki also showed his coolness under pressure yesterday when he took the penalty that was the deciding factor in the game. On his goalline, Joe Hart was screaming all sorts of things at Zaki to through off his concentration, but Zaki stepped up and slotted the ball into the back of the net.
With Zaki, Wigan has a born hero and natural striker who will continue to set the Premier League on fire. He reminds of a fit Louis Saha when he was at Fulham when the Craven Cottage team beat Manchester United, and it was only weeks later when Man United bought Saha to prevent a lesser team like Fulham embarrassing United again. At that time, Saha was a revelation who was on top of his form and able to score wonderful goals from the tightest of angles.
As long as Zaki stays with Wigan, the Latics are going to continue being a force to reckon with. Zaki is that good, and Wigan – as a result – will have one of their brightest seasons since they entered the Premier League in 2005/2006.