Preview: Ahly's record signing Evouna starts to grab attention after slow start

Hatem Maher , Friday 25 Dec 2015

Malick Evouna
Ahly striker Malick Evouna scored twice in the team's 3-0 victory over Haras El-Hodoud in Tuesday's Egyptian Premier League game (Photo: Ahly's official Facebook page)

Malick Evouna, Ahly's record summer signing who arrived to much hype, will be hoping to justify the $2.5 million paid for his services as he starts to grab fan attention following a slow start.

The burly 23-year-old, who usually partners Borussia Dortmund's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in Gabon's attack, is expected to be deployed as a lone frontman when Egypt's most successful side Ahly take on Wadi Degla in the Egyptian Premier League on Saturday.

He made a slow start due to injury problems but his pace, physical presence and goal-scoring prowess were on full display when the Red Devils crushed Haras El-Hodoud 3-0 on Tuesday, having scored twice.

He timed his run to perfection on two occasions and was a constant menace throughout, providing a perfect solution to Ahly's struggles upfront after the team lost twice in their opening six matches.

"I was sure Evouna would start to deliver because he is an excellent player," said Ahly's assistant coach Mohamed Abdel-Azim.

Another new signing who also produced a fine display after coming on as a second-half substitute is central midfielder Saleh Gomaa, who wrapped up Ahly's victory over Hodoud following a superb individual effort which saw him skip past several challengers before slotting home with aplomb.

But other summer signings such as Ghanaian striker John Antwi, who was expected to form a potent partnership with Evouna upfront, and former Maqassa playmaker Ahmed El-Sheikh are still out of favour.

Ahly signed a handful of players in the close season to bolster their squad after a disappointing season in which they failed to win a major trophy for the first time since 2004.

They lie ninth in the table with 12 points from six matches but they still have four games in hand on leaders Maqassa, who have 21 points from 10 games.

Wadi Degla are 13th with eight points from seven matches and, the same as the last few seasons, they are still characterized by their attacking vitality and defensive frailty.

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