Over the past 15 years, there have been several Egyptian footballers that have plied their trade in the Premier League to varying degrees of success. From the maverick forward Mido and the lacklustre Mohamed Elneny to the all-conquering Mohamed Salah, it’s clear that it can go either way.
Aston Villa are reportedly looking back to the African country to strengthen their front-line ahead of their return to the top flight. With Tutto Mercato reporting that the Midlands club have beaten Serie A outfit Sampdoria to the signing of 24-year-old winger Mahmoud Hassan, more commonly known as Trezeguet.
Birmingham Live reported that manager Dean Smith, as well as sporting director Jesus Garcia Pitarch, travelled 70,000 miles to the African Cup of Nations to give the player one final watch before the transfer is finalised. The pair were supposedly running the rule over a couple of Egyptian talents, with West Bromwich Albion defender Ahmed Hegazy being of interest to the Villains too.
Unfortunately, Egypt were knocked out of AFCON in the last 16 after a surprising upset by South Africa.
Villa’s chief executive Christian Purslow admitted to fans that there would be two or three more signings at Villa Park this window, as Smith looks to cement the club back in the top flight. Villa have recently been linked with a pair of holding midfielders, Marvelous Nakamba of Club Brugge (via SportWitness) and Douglas Luiz of Manchester City.
Aston Villa have been strengthening their squad this summer as the club aims to make a mockery of the odds being quoted by the bookmakers – Villa are 9/5 with 32Red to be relegated back to the Championship – although you can find better football tips today if you shop around.
Villa are actually 9/2 with the same bookmakers to finish in the top half and if you fancy a flutter on them finishing in the top six they are just 50/1.
Trezeguet would be the club’s ninth signing and the fourth attacker added to Smith’s ranks this summer. The winger has reportedly told his club Kasimpasa that he wishes to emulate his Egyptian teammate Salah and test himself in the Premier League.
Although Trezeguet can play in a multitude of positions, he is most comfortable on the left-wing, where he can cut in from wide areas before unleashing a shot at goal or playing a teammate in. The winger bagged nine goals and nine assists in the Super Lig last season as Kasimpasa finished 14th.
Statistically, Trezeguet outperforms the Liverpool frontman by averaging more shots per game with four to Salah’s 3.6, more key passes per game with 2.3 to the Golden Boot winner’s 1.8 and a staggering 1.2 more dribbles per game.
However, Salah is a country mile ahead of the former Anderlecht winger in terms of goal contributions, with 30 in the Premier League last season compared to Trezeguet’s 18.
Villa are prepared to pay £13.5m for Trezeguet, and if he has a similar impact to Salah’s second spell in England, then the Villa Park faithful could find their new Egyptian king.