Things on every Egyptian’s wishlist for 2019
2018 was certainly one of the most memorable years for Egyptian football with its good and bad. From taking part in the World Cup for the first time in 28 years, to Salah ranking third in FIFA’s Best player of the year. Yet, with the new year upon us, we take a look at every Egyptian’s wishlist for 2019.
2019 African Cup of Nations
It has been 9 years since Egypt lifted their last African Cup of Nations title in Angola. At that time, the Pharaohs were the kings of African football after winning three consecutive titles between 2006-2010. However, with the 2011 revolution and the 2012 Port Said massacre, that led to the cancellation of the league, Egypt has failed to qualify to three African Cups from 2012 to 2015.
Under former coach, Hector Cuper, the Egyptians managed to come back in the 2017 African Cup of Nations in Gabon, and made it to the final game. Yet, the Pharaohs lost 2-1 to the Cameroonian Lions in the final, shattering the dreams of millions of Egyptians to win the 8th title.
The 2019 African Cup of Nations is the chance to revive that dream the Egyptians, witnessing the new generation of players win the African title. Under the new coach, Javier Aguirre, who changed the team tactics into a more aggressive style, the Pharaohs are aiming for a new start towards retrieving the African dominance.
Salah wins Premier League with Liverpool
Besides supporting their local teams, Egyptians now are wholeheartedly Liverpool fans. They follow the Reds’ Premier League and Champions League clashes, hoping that Mohamed Salah scores in every single match. However, the main thing that Egyptians are eagerly waiting for is for their Egyptian King to be crowned with the Premier League title with Liverpool. The Reds has not won the title since the 1989-1990 season and winning it this year with Salah would be a massive achievement for the club and the 26-year-old.
It is worthy to mention that Salah has won the Premier League with Chelsea back in the 2015-2016 season despite only participating in three league matches and scoring no goals.
Elneny and Trezeguet move to new clubs
Despite signing a new contract extension with the Gunners last season, Mohamed Elneny has only featured in seven games with Arsenal this season, five of which came in the Europa League, one in the Premier League and one in the League Cup. Elneny’s lack of participation is not due to the lack of his quality. The 26-year-old has proved his worth in many of the few games he featured in last season under former Arsenal coach, Arsene Wenger, with his passes, assists and interceptions. However, the main question remains, why does Elneny not play?
Elneny mainly plays as a defensive midfielder and the competition for that position seems to be very difficult especially with the arrival of Lucas Torriera and Matteo Guendouzi, who have been starting most of the games this season. The presence of Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey make it even harder to find a place on the bench, which eventually happened this season, as the Egyptian has only featured in only one Premier League game since the start of the season.
Many wonder why wouldn’t Elneny move to a new club? Is he the new John Obi Mikel? The Nigerian international spent 11 years at Chelsea and most of his features came from the bench. Yet, Mikel was a consistent pick in Nigeria’s squads and was starting regularly, which is quite similar to Elneny’s case, who was selected by Egypt’s former Manager, Hector Cuper and current manager, Javier Aguirre.
Many Premier League sides such as West Ham, Bournemouth and Leicster City have expressed their interest in the Egypt international. However, the player’s agent denied any talks and stated that Elneny is staying with the Gunners.
On the other hand, Mahmoud Hassan Trezeguet has been at Kasimpasa since July 2017, joining the club on loan from Anderlecht, before they made the move permanent last summer. He was among the Kasimpasa squad that the club announced to have agreed to remain for the coming two years and a half.
His first season at the club was remarkable scoring 16 goals and providing eight assists in 33 games, grabbing the attention in and outside Turkey. Similarly, the former Al Ahly player took part in 16 games this season with the Apaches, scoring five goals and producing five assists.
Trezeguet’s form has made it so hard for the Turkish club to accept any offer for the 24-year-old as they are looking for a proper offer for him. According to Calciomercato, Italian giants, Lazio, showed interest in the Egyptian and are willing to pay €6 million for Trezeguet’s services, but they revealed that the Turkish club want at least €10 million to let him go. Bundesliga side, Stuttgart have also allegedly put Trezeguet on their January window wishlist. Will we see Trezeguet in the Bundesliga or Serie A soon?
Salah wins African Player of the Year
Despite winning the award last season after his remarkable performances in the Serie A, African Cup of Nations and the Premier League. The Egyptian King is yet to win his second ever award in order to become the first ever Egyptian to win the award twice in a row. The 2017/2018 Premier League’s Player of the Year scored 44 goals in 52 games for Liverpool last season, leading the Reds to the Champions League final for the first time since 2007.
Salah was already named BBC African Footballer of the Year last week, beating French-Moroccan defender Medhi Benatia, Senegalese defender Kalidou Koulibaly, Liverpool teammate and Senegal’s forward Sadio Mane and Ghanaian midfielder Thomas Partey.
The Egyptian featured in 25 matches this season with the Reds, scoring 14 goals and providing six assists in all competitions. Liverpool are currently top of the Premier League table with four points ahead of followers, Manchester City. If Liverpool manage to be crowned Premier League Champions this season and if Salah maintained his current form, who knows, it will be very difficult not to have him in one of the top three Ballon D’Or ranks.
Salah Mohsen blossoms into Egypt’s striker of the future
Recently, the Pharaohs has been suffering from a deficiency of strikers, as many players such as Amr Gamal, Marwan Mohsen and Ahmed Hassan ‘Koka’ have not proved superiority in this position. The Egyptians were usually criticized for their excessive defensive style and tactics attributed to former head coach, Hector Cuper, who mainly relied on Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah for scoring goals. With the appointment of new head coach, Javier Aguirre, the transition to an offensive style began to appear as the team scored 15 goals in four games under the Mexican coach.
The 20-year-old is vital to Aguirre’s offensive style with the Pharaohs. His spectacular skills, positioning and immense speed makes him a nightmare for defenders. He is able to play as centre forward, as a second striker or on the wings and is fantastic in finding spaces in compact defensive zones with his vision and quick turn of pace.
This is Mohsen’s opportunity to shine and show his quality with both Al Ahly and the national team. His young talent could be the gateway to a potential future transfer to a European club similar to Ramadan Sobhi and joining the national team at an early age would be a great moment in his career to learn from his teammates and gain experience.
2019 is certainly a year that every Egyptian is looking forward too both domestically and internationally. Egypt has a very strong chance in rising back again to the African summit in the 2019 African Cup of Nations and Salah is carrying the hopes of many Liverpool fans around the globe to win their first Premier League title since 1990. Let us know what else are you looking forward to in 2019.
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