Elmo – From Sunderland outcast to Hull City fan favourite
From two-time AFCON champion with Egypt, to Sunderland outcast, to Hull City’s Player of the Year. Making his debut for KingFut, Marwan Ahmed highlights the many twists and turns on Ahmed ‘Elmo’ Elmohamady’s road to stardom in English football thus far.
Many would’ve not imagined Elmohamady, or as he is called ‘Elmo’, to be an instant fan favourite at the KC Stadium. Elmo endured a rather bitter-sweet adventure in English football thus far, having arrived on loan from Egyptian club ENPPI to Sunderland on the first of July 2010. He had initially spent two weeks on trial at the club in the summer of 2009, then managed by former Manchester United captain Steve Bruce, before his move – albeit on loan – became complete a year later.
Things were looking bright for the Egypt international, having made 36 league appearances under Bruce in his first season at Sunderland, but a series of disappointing results led Bruce to the sack in December 2011. Former Aston Villa and Celtic manager Martin O’Neill was appointed, and despite Elmo’s impressive start to life at the Stadium of Light, racking MOTM performances against Arsenal and Manchester City, he was never really given the chance to kick on by O’Neill.
“I spoke with O’Neill before joining the training camp and he promised to give me a chance in the remaining games in the Premier League” Elmo stated last year; but despite the manager’s promise, he only featured a total of 7 games that season under Martin O’Neill – all of which he came off the bench in the final 10 minutes or so. It was clear that Elmohamady was not favored by the Northern Irishman – who was sacked by Sunderland last March – and he had to leave if his career in England was going to go anywhere.
On the 8th of June 2012, Steve Bruce was appointed manager of Championship side Hull City. Bruce showed direct interest in reuniting with Elmohamady, and by the 30th of August he was officially a Tiger. He made his debut against Bolton Wanderers a day later as Bruce showed how much he values the 25-year-old Egyptian.
The highlight of his season came on September the 18th against Yorkshire rivals Leeds United, where he guided the Tigers to their first away win at Elland Road in 25 years with a 3-2 win by scoring one and assisting the other two. Come January, his loan from Sunderland had expired, but of course, with having established himself as a fans favorite with his performances, the club opted to renew his loan as they saw him as an integral cog in the machine if they were to get promoted to the Premier League.
In 41 appearances for the Tigers, Elmo managed to score 3 and assist 9 to help guide Hull City to promotion, having finished the season as runners-up in the Championship behind Welsh side Cardiff City.
At Hull City’s annual awards ceremony last April, Elmo was chosen as the Player of the Year for the Tigers, deservedly, having fended off competition from Paul McShane, Stephen Quinn, James Chester and even former Manchester United youth player Robbie Brady.
Egyptian-owned Hull City made Ahmed Elmohamady’s move from Sunderland permanent earlier this summer for a fee of £2 million, which was no surprise, but now it’s up to Elmo to prove the English Premier League is where he truly belongs.
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