Amr Zaki has joined Hull City on loan for the rest of the season. The Egyptian has fallen out with his club Zamalek and is hoping that a return to England will lead to a more permanent move away from his club. The player showed that he was well equipped for the Premier League with his time at Wigan, but there were also problems with his discipline. It may something of a gamble by Phil Brown to bring him to Hull City, but is it one worth taking?
Zaki made a flying start to his career in the Premier League last season as he netted 10 league goals in the early months of the season with 8 goals in his first 10 games. He became a cult hero at Wigan with his initial all-action performances. Zaki proved that he had the physical attributes and the work rate to trouble any defender as well as good technical ability. His brace against Liverpool was particularly impressive and it seemed as if Steve Bruce had uncovered a real gem of a player.
Unfortunately for Zaki, the goals soon dried up and he failed to score in the second half of the season. He also came under fire from the Wigan management team for his constant habit of returning late from international duty with Egypt. Steve Brice described him as:
“the most unprofessional player I have ever worked with”.
The aforementioned unprofessional behaviour dissuaded Bruce from signing the player on a full-time basis and Zaki returned to Egypt in disgrace.
Hull have given him an opportunity to resurrect his Premier League career but it is a massive risk. There is no guarantee of goals and Zaki has shown himself to be a controversial player. He made some inflammatory remakrks about Portsmouth earlier this season and there is always the possibility that he will destroy the harmony in the Hull dressing room. Despite that, Hull are in need of more firepower with Stephen Hunt their top-scorer with 5 goals. Zaki should be a player with something to prove and if Hull get the Zaki that first arrived at Wigan, then he will turn out to be a very astute signing. If they get the player who fell out with Steve Bruce in the second-half of the season, then it may turn out to be the worst signing of the window as he could destabilise the whole club. Phil Brown will certainly be hoping that he gets the former.