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Amr Zaki Remains One Of The Greatest One-Season Wonders In Premier League History

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Amr Zaki Remains One Of The Greatest One-Season Wonders In Premier League History

It's rather fitting that Amr Zaki was born on April Fool's day because his stint in the Premier League was ridiculous.

Having scored 27 goals in 48 games for his country, the Egyptian joined Wigan Athletic on a one-year loan from Zamalek for a fee of £1.5 million in 2008 and was electric in his early days in the English top flight.

Likened to Alan Shearer, he scored on his debut against West Ham and hit five goals in his first six games.

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Continuing to produce the goods, he notched a first-half brace, including a glorious overhead kick, againstLiverpool at Anfield in October.

"His physique is great, he has awesome power and pace and of course he wants to score goals which is the important thing," Steve Bruce said of Zaki.

"He is refreshing and is a delight to work with."

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Before Christmas, Zaki had hit ten goals and was only behind Manchester City's Robinho and Chelsea's Nicolas Anelka in the goalscoring charts.

Image: PA
Image: PA

But he ended up stuck on that tally as his honeymoon period fizzled out. After he returned from international duty late on numerous occasions, Bruce was finished with him and his tune changed dramatically.

"I can honestly say that in all my time in football I have never worked with someone as unprofessional," an incensed Bruce stated.

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"This is the fourth time he has not reported back on time from international training," he said.

"I have already fined him the maximum allowed but this just seems to have no effect.

"I am now fearful that if I don't take firm action, it will disrupt the rest of my squad, who - to a man - behave totally professionally."

With the goals drying him and his attitude poor, Wigan elected against purchasing him permanently once the 2008/09 campaign was done and he returned to Zamalek.

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Image: PA
Image: PA

He would later have an unfruitful and goalless loan stint at Hull City. The man once described as "better than Messi" played in Turkey, Kuwait, Morocco, Lebanon and his native Egypt, scoring just nine league goals post-Wigan and retiring aged 32 in 2015.

Still, for that brief spell, the streets will never forget him.

Topics: Wigan Athletic, Football, Premier League

Josh Lawless
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