Monday, May 18, 2009

See Ya Amr Zaki!

Amr Zaki's stint at English side Wigan looks to be over.

Wigan manager Steve Bruce has confirmed he will not be signing the Egyptian striker on a permanent basis.

Zaki joined Wigan in July 2008 on a year-long loan deal from home-country club Zamalek and was an instant hit, with eight goals in his first 10 games.

But the goals dried up. Zaki's been hit by injuries and the 26-year-old angered Bruce after returning late from international duty on four separate occasions.

"We will not be taking the option to sign him when his loan ends,"Bruce said.

Zaki missed Saturday's 2-0 defeat at Stoke City because of a knee problem and he will not be fit for the final game of the season at home to Portsmouth.

He has not scored from open play since mid-October and his last goal came on December 28. Zaki has been affected by injuries but the deterioration of his relationship with Bruce has cost him a permanent deal.

In early April he was fined for the fourth successive time after returning late from international duty, leading to Bruce saying Zaki was "the most unprofessional (player) I have worked with."

Zaki has played only three times since then and a knee injury sustained at West Brom on May 9th means he's almost certainly played his last game for Wigan.

Bruce also felt the player, who scored twice in a 3-2 defeat to Liverpool in October, allowed his head to be turned by links to Real Madrid, Chelsea and Liverpool after making an early impact on the Premier League.

"The writing has been on the wall for a while now but it's a shame, it really is," he added.

"There was no doubt Zaki had the world at his feet last October when he scored those two goals against Liverpool at Anfield. He had a wonderful chance over here but he was badly advised I think, he listened to the wrong people.

"If he had listened to the people he should have done - his adviser is a decent fellow - he would have been okay. It's a shame it's worked out this way, he set us on fire with those goals earlier in the season. But Zaki hasn't scored from open play since Liverpool. We've missed him in that respect but there you go."

Bruce also has other major decisions to make as Zaki's compatriot and fellow striker Mido is coming to the end of his loan spell from Middlesbrough.

MY POV: Looks like Zaki let the accolades get to his head. His form dipped after the Liverpool match. Do you think a big club like Madrid would fancy his services after his precipitous drop? Might mean Zaki makes his way back to Egypt. Too bad.

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