On an 18-month loan deal from Zamalek, Egyptian striker Mustafa Mohamed joined Galatasaray and hit the ground running in the Turkish Super Lig.
Mohamed scored from the penalty spot on his debut before scoring the Istanbul derby winner against Fenerbahçe days later. It was followed in the Turkish Cup by a consolation goal against Alanyaspor.
As they hosted Kasimpasa in the 25th round of the Turkish Super Lig, Fatih Terim’s men wanted to return to winning ways.
After just nine minutes, Mohammed Kerem Aktürkoğlu gave the hosts an early lead, but in the 51st minute, Isaac Thelin cancelled it out.
As Terim had five new players, Galatasaray kept trying to find the winning goal. After they were awarded a penalty for a foul on Henry Onyekuru, it was time.
Mohamed, an Egyptian international, stepped up and managed to turn it past Ertuğrul Taşkıran to secure an 89th minute victory for his side.
The goal resulted in Mohamed becoming the first Galatasaray player since Bafétimbi Gomis in 2017 to score in the first three Super Lig games.
The 23-year-old also has four goals in four games in Turkey, with a goal every 79 minutes on average.
Galatasaray Head Coach Terim has acclaimed the new signing, saying Mohamed was able to score for his side in every game after he scored his third team goal in the third consecutive game.
Mohamed extended his brilliant start to life in Turkey and scored for the third game in a row but, after a 3-2 loss, it was not enough for Galatasaray to escape the Turkish Cup exit against Alanyaspor.
“I think Mustafa Mohamed will score every day. He makes us happy that we signed him because he and the newcomers are scoring goals,” Terim said after the game.
“I wanted to see more team cohesion, and that’s why I didn’t rotate much. But we shouldn’t have conceded goals in such a successive pattern,” Terim added.
The Egyptian star talked about his move to Galatasaray. “I am happy with my new family and I would like to thank all who contributed to the deal, whether the Galatasaray president, coach Fatih Terim or other officials.
“I didn’t feel any difference, but I feel like this is my second home. I want to thank the fans of the club for their support for me and the club. I felt the same love I found in Zamalek, and that was the most inspiring thing for me,” Mohamed added.
“Last season I refused an offer from Fenerbahce and I chose to join Galatasaray this season,” the Egyptian said.
Even Head Coach of Fenerbahce Erol Bulut, Galatasaray’s biggest rivals, talked about Mohamed’s start in the Super Lig. “Mustafa Mohamed played it as if he was dropping a billiard ball in its place. It was their first chance, but they scored it.”
Mohamed’s teammates are so happy by his start and what he’s providing for the team in terms of scoring and creation of chances. The legend of Galatasaray and Turkey, Arda Turan, has hailed his teammate Mohamed for his “brilliant” intercontinental derby success.
Following the goal, Mohamed celebrated with Turan who showered the Egyptian with praise.
“My brother Mustafa Mohamed scored a goal on his first start. He is a great player. I congratulate him,” Turan said after the game.
“Mustafa Mohamed played brilliantly today. He did everything he could. He scored and led us to victory,” Turan added.
“We agreed this morning on our celebration if one of us scored. I told him it’s difficult for me to score, but if he scored, we would celebrate like this, and it happened,” Turan said.
Mohamed grabbed the attention of European teams after his outstanding performance during the Under-23 African Championship held in Egypt in 2019. The Egyptian National Team won the tournament and qualified for the Olympic Games which will be held in Tokyo this summer.
Football analysts believe that the Super Lig and Turkey won’t be the last stop for Mohamed. It is believed that his next move will be to one of the major football leagues like the English Premier League, La Liga or the German Bundesliga.
Galatasaray have a good chance of participating in the UEFA Champions League next year which will give the international striker a huge opportunity to feature against major European sides.
There’s a drought in that position at the moment. In Europe, the proper No 9 striker who can score nearly every game is severely lacking.
In a few years, Mohamed could have the opportunity to move to one of the bigger clubs if he maintains his form with his current club and the national team.
Egypt’s National Team Coach Hossam Al-Badri has now been put under pressure by the striker to give him enough time to play after stretches of keeping him on the bench.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 18 February, 2021 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly