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Friday, 17 September 2021

Ongoing absence of Ivorian Coulibaly from field puts pressure on Ahly coach

The Ivorian striker has appeared for only a few minutes in Ahly's matches since his arrival in January

Mahmoud Elassal , Thursday 23 Mar 2017
 Souleymane Coulibaly
Ahly new signing Ivorian striker Souleymane Coulibaly (Photo from the club's official website)

The ongoing absence of Ahly's newly signed Ivorian striker Souleymane Coulibaly from the field has put pressure on coach Hossam El-Badry, who is responsible for the player's arrival.

Ahly signed Kilmarnock's striker Souleymane Coulibaly of Ivory Coast on a three-and-a-half-year contract in January but the player has not been given a chance to play. Explanations given by the team's technical staff have not satisfied fans or critics. 

The 22-year-old, however, has said he has no problem warming the bench for now as he believes he will get a chance to play.

"I am not worried about not playing; I didn't have a full chance to play except a few minutes in one game," Coulibaly told a television programme early this week.

"I am waiting for a chance to play to meet the fans expectations, who met me well at the airport," he added.

Ahly football director Sayed Abdel-Hafiz raised the pressure when he said that striker Coulibaly could fail to meet expectations despite his arrival in January.

"The Ahly technical staff is responsible for signing Coulibaly after watching videos of the player showing his superb performance," Abdel-Hafiz told a television programme.

"He may take the chance with team to play an effective role and he could fail like any player in the world as Zlatan Ibrahimovic did with Barcelona," he said. 

"Ahly are suffering from a [tight] game sequence so we have to play with the same squad every game to win the points and there's no time to make changes."

"The technical staff want to call the player up in the right circumstances," the football director said.

The Cairo giants signed in January attacking midfielder Ahmed Hamoudy, midfielder Amr Barakat and Ivorian striker Souleymane Coulibaly to boost their struggling frontline. All the players have made a few appearances while Coulibaly is still out of service.

Ahly are in the driving seat of the Egyptian league table with 52 points, seven ahead of second-place Maqassa and 12 over rivals Zamalek who are third-place with a game in hand.

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