Thursday,25 April, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1355, (3-9 August 2017)
Thursday,25 April, 2019
Issue 1355, (3-9 August 2017)

Ahram Weekly

Glued at the hip

Al-Mohamadi joins Aston Villa as he signs for Steve Bruce for the third time, reports Marawan Zayed



Steve Bruce certainly loves our Egyptian star Ahmed Al-Mohamadi and rates him as a fine footballer after signing him for a third time for a third team, this time at Aston Villa.

The veteran coach is a known admirer of ElMo as they call him in England and always said the Egyptian star is one of the best and most professional players to play under him throughout his managerial career. This high praise made the move less surprising especially after Hull City suffered relegation to join Villa in the championship which certainly made the decision easier for Al-Mohamadi than dropping to a lower league if Hull City managed to avoid relegation last season.

Al-Mohamadi joins Aston Villa’s revolution as Bruce is building the team to push for promotion to the Premier League this coming season, starting with the unbelievable signing of former England and Chelsea captain John Terry who had just won the league with the Blues before deciding to take on the challenge of guiding Bruce’s team to the Premier League. Terry who was also named the new captain of the club will probably partner another new signing in the form of veteran defender Chris Samba as the new CBs of the team, with Al-Mohamadi playing on the right flank as all three get ready to play with each other for the first time ever.

Getting back to Al-Mohamadi, it’s fair to say he’s one of the most underrated Egyptian players in the last decade compared to what he has achieved so far in his career. Egyptian players are always known for their laziness and lack of determination to create big names for themselves when they play abroad, but Al-Mohamadi is surely the complete opposite of this given that he just completed seven full years in English football.

The experienced and dependable star will always be remembered for all the right reasons for his time in English football as you don’t stay in England all that time if you’re not doing something special.

Signed by Bruce for Sunderland in June 2010 on a season-long loan move, Al-Mohamadi quickly made his way into the starting 11 and convinced Bruce to sign him permanently for £2 million at the end of the season after a brilliant year when he won man of the match for seven league games including games against the likes of Arsenal and Man City. However, Al-Mohamadi’s most difficult time in England came when Bruce left Sunderland in December 2011 and was replaced by O’Neill who didn’t give Al-Mohamadi much playing time until he joined Bruce at Hull on loan in August 2012 when he enjoyed a brilliant season and was chosen player of the season by his teammates in April 2013 after helping them get back to the Premier League. The club agreed a deal with Sunderland to sign Al-Mohamadi permanently as he and Bruce continued their professional journey together until Bruce left the club three years later. Al-Mohamadi played almost every single game from the start as our Egyptian star rarely missed a game through injury or suspension.

Al-Mohamadi enjoyed a good personal year with Hull City despite their relegation and decided to move on to a new challenge as Aston Villa triggered a clause in his contract that allowed them to sign him for an undisclosed fee that reports say could go up to £4 million. Al-Mohamadi is familiar enough with what’s coming up next season having done it before with Bruce and Hull where they won promotion together, but this season the squad and the quality of signings made by Bruce for Villa is much better and much more equipped to nail a promotion spot than the squad he had at Hull which from one side puts more pressure on Bruce and from the other makes the dream reachable.

New club captain Terry made it clear he only agreed to drop to the championship level with Villa, hoping to add another unbelievable achievement to his glittering CV by leading this club to where they belong among the top guns in the Premier League, insisting such an achievement would equal winning the Champions League with the Blues.

Let’s hope our Egyptian star will make his eighth year in English football an unforgettable one. The one certainty for the time being is that Al-Mohamadi isn’t appreciated back home as much as he’s valued by one of the most famous managers in English football in Bruce. So let’s hope he keeps on doing great and special things in England to earn more respect in his homeland.

The writer is a freelance journalist.

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