While The Pharaohs secure passage into the quarter-finals in Angola attempting to defend their African crown, one of their brightest sons is making a highly anticipated return to Old Blighty after a somewhat maligned exit. This time around, Amr Zaki will attempt his goal scoring prowess a few hours down the M62 from Wigan towards the North Sea and end up with relegation-fighting Hull City Football Club on a five month loan deal. For the next few weeks, he’ll only be able to watch his countrymen from an ‘iffy internet stream face Africa’s best a continent away.
Zamalek teammate and former Premier League player Mido was also unexpectedly left out of the 23-man squad whose only hope for a trophy this year will be to defend the African Cup of Nations as Egypt missed out on World Cup qualification yet again (the Pharaohs haven’t participated since 1990). A lack of match fitness has been cited as reason for Zaki’s exclusion in the squad.
As for Zaki’s exit from Wigan, the Egyptian was on record last summer criticizing Wigan for not accepting a payoff from then suitors Aston Villa. The payoff would have allowed Zaki the freedom to sign for Martin O’Neill thus scrapping his original loan deal from Zamalek. Zaki had a falling out with then Wigan gaffer Steve Bruce after multiple fines from returning late to the Latics from international duty. Bruce was famously quoted as labeling Zaki as the most unprofessional player he has ever managed.
As for Zaki’s return, most will remember his blazing start to last season scoring 11 goals in his first 18 appearances before his form eventually took a nose dive. Zaki has vowed to stay out of trouble to the accepting ears of Hull City chairman Adam Pearson. The reported fee Hull City splashed for the Egyptian striker ranges from “a significant loan fee” to “£400,000” in hopes Zaki will help the Tigers fight the drop.
Amr Zaki on good form and with a good attitude will be an asset for Hull City. He’s a strong, proven goal scorer with a natural instinct to know where he’s at when he receives the ball. He’s got a perfect body build to compete with equally strong Premier League centre-backs. He’s a player that has the skill and ability to have a future in the Premier League. As an admirer of his goals from last term, here’s hoping he continues to make good on his potential this time around. If I haven’t convinced you yet, make sure to check out a few of his best from his Wigan days.
Also, what does this mean for on-loan American striker Jozy Altidore? Will he continue to receive vital playing time for Hull City in hopes he’ll come good on his potential? Or, has Altidore’s spot been claimed by the proven Premier League goal scorer Zaki?
Feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts on Zaki’s return to the Premier League.