A look into Zamalek’s 14 new Knights
On his debut for KingFut.com, Mohamed Yousef takes a look into the White Knights’ revamped squad for the 2014-15 season, after an unprecedented 15-man signing spree by Zamalek chairman Mortada Mansour.
Even before the devastating end to this football season for the White Knights, they have been recruiting the cream of the crop in Egypt with hopes of bringing trophies right to their cabinet next season. Zamalek have reportedly signed 14 players this transfer window alone, covering each and every position on the pitch.
1 – Ahmed Dweidar – Ittihad El-Shorta (Defender)
Zamalek youth product and El-Shorta defender Ahmed Dweidar has returned to his home club. Dweidar is set to strengthen a porous Zamalek defence for their title challenge next season.
2 – Ahmed Samir – Dakhleya (Midfielder/Defender)
One of the brightest young players in Egypt was signed on a 3-year contract. The left-footed player is known to play in different positions along the left or right hand sides of the pitch. Excellent dribbling, great work rate and outstanding pace are three traits that could sum up Samir. The player, who had a trial with FC Randers in Denmark months ago, is tipped for stardom and should provide Abdel-Shafy the much needed competition at left-back in Zamalek’s defence, which has been lacking since his arrival from Ghazl El-Mahalla.
3 – Ali Hussein – GASCO (Defender)
One of Mortada Mansours’s bargain buys is no doubt Ali Hussein. The GASCO and Olympic team defender signed a 5-year deal with Zamalek, for just 50 thousand Egyptian pounds.
4 – Ahmed Sabry – Haras El-Hodood (Midfielder)
Haras El-Hodood star Ahmed Sabry has signed for Zamalek right before his clash with his future team-mates on Thursday the 10th of July in the cup’s quarter-finals.
5-Ayman Hefny – Tala’a El-Gaish (Midfielder)
Definitely one of the best of all the signings made. Both Al Ahly and Zamalek have been battling for the signature of the 28-year-old since shining at Misr El-Maqassa a few years ago. Hefny would give many options to Mido due to his ability to play across several positions in midfield, although he is most known for his excellence in the playmaker’s role. He is one of those players you’d describe by saying: “the ball’s glued to his feet”. With both great vision and swift thinking Hefny will be crucial for Zamalek in next year’s title challenge.
6 – Basem Morsi – Entag El-Harby (Striker)
The third striker to be brought in by Mortada Mansour is Entag El-Harby and Egypt 22-year-old poacher Basem Morsi, who described Zamalek’s offer as “more serious” than Al Ahly’s. Morsi is so far best known for his equalizing header on his debut for the national team against Jamaica to bring the score to 2-2. The number 10 scored just one goal less than Kamar (9) in four fewer matches and with no penalties taken in the Egyptian Premier League this season.
7 – Ibrahim Salah – Al-Oruba (Midfielder)
Salah was one of the first signings made by Zamalek this season after penning a 3-year deal. The defensive midfielder re-joined the club after a one-year spell at Al-Orouba in Saudi Arabia. After mostly fielding attacking midfielders this season, Zamalek looks like they could seal things up down the middle of the park with a tough player like Salah.
8 – Khaled Kamar – Ittihad El-Shorta (Striker)
After receiving offers from both Egyptian giants Al Ahly and Zamalek, the 26-year-old has chosen to play under the management of Mido next season, adding to the Whites’ firepower. It should be noted that Kamar scored just one goal shy (10) of this season’s top scorer John Antwi (11), which secured him a spot on the Egyptian national team – scoring once in three games including a delightful chip against Chile back in May.
9 – Moruf Yusuf – Ittihad El-Shorta (Midfielder)
After many calls from Zamalek’s manager Mido, the Nigerian midfielder has joined the White Castle. At just 21, the attacking midfielder will have to prove his abilities on the pitch to get playing time in the star-studded squad next season, where he’ll be facing stern competition from Mohamed Ibrahim, Momen Zakaria and Ayman Hefny for that playmaker’s role.
10 – Mohamed Abdel-Razek ‘Bazooka’ – Al-Sharqeya (Defender)
Al-Sahrqeya and Olympic national team Mohamed ‘Bazooka’ joined Zamalek for a fee estimated to be around one million and 50 thousand Egyptian pounds on a 5-year deal. Another young face that shows that Mortada is both looking to build a team for now and another for tomorrow.
11 – Mohamed Koffi – Duhok SC (Defender)
Zamalek signed Burkina Faso defensive midfielder Mohamed Koffi on a free transfer coming from Iraqi side Duhok SC. Koffi is a familiar face having played for Petrojet between 2006 and 2014. Upon signing, the Burkinabé expressed his excitement to be working with Ahmed Hossam ‘Mido’. A lot of work will be asked of Koffi, who can also operate as a full-back, after Zamalek’s below-par defensive showing this season.
12 – Mohamed Shaaban – ENPPI (Midfielder)
Zamalek’s latest signing is Mohamed Shaaban, who joined Zamalek on a free transfer for three seasons on Wednesday. Shaaban was close to joining the White Castle a couple of years ago but his teammate Islam Awad joined instead, in a strange move from the club’s board back then.
13 – Reda El-Azab – Ittihad El-Shorta (Defender)
After a complicated situation, Shorta’s right-back has finally become a Zamalek player. Reda has been relatively consistent throughout the previous few years; a rare attribute to find nowadays in an Egyptian player. Reda will give many choices to Mido next season. Having many players in the same position will create a sense of positive competition between the players, allowing them to get the best our of each other while they’re on the pitch.
14 – Saleh Moussa – Ismaily (Defender)
The former Ismaily right wing-back joined Zamalek for one million Egyptian pounds plus two Zamalek youngsters, Mohamed Ibrahim and Mahmoud Khaled. The 26-year-old chose Zamalek after receiving many offers stating that Zamalek will be his gate to joining the Egyptian national team in the upcoming future.
To sum it up, Zamalek chairman Mortada Mansour has brought in 7 defenders, 5 midfielders and 2 strikers. With all these players coming in, departures are imminent. Earlier this season Mido said that all he needed is 3 players, so are these players really necessary? Or is Mortada just signing them to keep them away from competition? By the looks of things, we will probably see a greatly changed starting eleven next season at Zamalek, with maybe 2 or 3 players from the current starters holding on to their positions. Revolution has come to Zamalek; with all the talent coming in, can Al Ahly top them yet again?
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