How can Egypt scout another Mo Salah?

Mahmoud Elassal , Monday 22 May 2023

Inspired by the success of the Moroccan team in the 2022 World Cup, The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) is scouring the globe to lure players to join the Pharaohs and hope to find another talent overseas that can follow the example of Mohamed Salah.

Rui Vitoria
File photo - Egypt coach Rui Vitoria during a training session with the National team. Photo: EFA


Egypt has a handful of players who made their mark in Europe, including Liverpool's Mohamed Salah, Arsenal's Mohamed Elneny, Nantes' Mostafa Mohamed, Trabzonspor's Mahmoud 'Trezeguet' Hassan, and Eintracht Frankfurt's Omar Marmoush.

However the EFA is scouting for players with dual nationality to represent the Pharaohs in the upcoming years.

Several young and promising players are plying their trade in Europe giving Egypt's coach Rui Vitoria plenty of room to inject new blood in his squad.

"Our scouting team and performance analysts follow a large number of foreign-based players and we have been in contact with agents and parents of some players," Egypt's national team manager Mohamed Ghoraba told a television programme on Sunday.

“I don't want to talk about all the details nor the negotiations we are conducting with players but I will just reveal that we spoke with Haissem Hassan and his mother, and there is a good chance he would represent Egypt. They (his parents) hope he could play for France, and we understand that," he added.

Winger Haissem Hassan is born on 8 February 2002 in France to an Egyptian father and Tunisian mother and plays for Villarreal CF B of Spain.

He started his football career in France with Paris FC Youth in July 2017 before joining LB Châteauroux in 2020.

He made 29 appearances in the French and Spanish Leagues, providing one assist.

The 21-year-old played for France’s U18 national team in 2019, scoring three goals in ten appearances.

More under the radar

Ghoraba revealed that Vitoria and his staff are following more than 40 players with dual nationalities that have potential to join the Pharaohs.

Several players have made an impact this season and could be important additions to the team.

Talented left-back Came'ron Ismail, born on 22 November 2006, is of English-Egyptian descent.

He joined Arsenal's U18s during the pre-season preparations of 2022 after his impressive performance for the U16s.

Egyptian striker Karim Ahmed, born on 17 February 2007, plays for Liverpool U16s, making seven appearances with the Reds and scoring two goals in all competitions.

The 16-year-old came to interest Liverpool fans after he scored for the Under-18s in the FA Youth Cup last year.

Like Mohamed Salah, Ahmed plays as a forward and stepped up in the absence of Liverpool's Under-18s top scorer to fire the Reds to victory.

Striker Mido Marwan Hamelynck of Egyptian descent, born on 6 January 2004, joined Emmen U21s of the Netherlands in the summer transfer window of 2022, coming from AFC Amsterdam U18s.

The 19-year-old attacker started his football career at AFC Amsterdam youth team before joining Utrecht in July 2017. He then joined PSV Eindhoven youth.

Attacking midfielder Adam Tolba, born on 30 May 2005, to an Egyptian mother, joined VfL Bochum U19s in July 2021 and represented Germany U18s in two appearances in September 2022.

Defensive midfielder Tebo Gabriel, born on 2 January 2006, started his football career in FSV Frankfurt in July 2021 before joining Hoffenheim U17s in 2022.

He joined Egypt U17s squad in a preparatory camp in February 2022 but did not make any official appearance with the young Pharaohs. 

Attacking midfielder Omar El Sawy, born on 16 March 2004, with Egyptian descent, started his football career with Csikszereda of Romania in July 2022.

He has recently signed a long-term contract with FC Rapid 1923 of Romania.

“We visited some players and invited them to join the national team camps, but ultimately, we cannot force the players to choose to wear Egypt's jersey,” Ghoraba said.

Morocco and Tunisia have already been successful in finding and luring players with dual nationalities, and their teams have performed well in international tournaments.

With the growing interest in little-known Egyptian players with dual nationalities, it remains to be seen whether the EFA will replicate the success of their North African neighbours and uncover a new generation of talented players to support the Pharaohs’ squad.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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