After enduring a tough start to life in the Premier League, Egyptian winger Mahmoud "Trezeguet" Hassan lived up to expectations for Aston Villa when it mattered the most.
The 26-year-old fired the Villans to the League Cup final in January, marking the first time the club reach a final since 2015 when they lost to Arsenal in the FA Cup.
After a 1-1 semi-final first leg-draw against Leicester City in the League Cup, Trezeguet scored a wonderful 91st-minute volley following a cross from compatriot Ahmed Elmohamady to give his team a crucial 2-1 win.
"I live a wonderful feeling. Reaching the final is big history for us. The goal came from a play I practiced with Elmohamady, and on the pitch I asked him to pass me the ball in the same way," he said.
Villa fought hard in the final at Wembley but eventually lost 2-1 to a star-studded Manchester City side.
Trezeguet kept up his hard work even during the COVID-19 lockdown to remain fit, forcing his way into Dean Smith's starting eleven
“As footballers, our body is our asset, particularly in this period because we stay at home most of the time, you have to watch your weight and health," he said at the time.
Trezeguet made a fine impact on his Premier League debut season, scoring three goals and providing two assists in 24 games.
“I thank Aston Villa fans for standing by us and I will do everything I can to make them happy," he said.
He kept his promise as he propelled Aston Villa to a miraculous survival in the Premier League, scoring three goals in the final three games of the season to lift the team out of the relegation zone.
"He’s a good, bright player. It’s funny, we’re getting to a stage now, and I said this would happen, where players like Trezeguet and Douglas Luiz, players who were new at the start of this season, look accustomed to Premier League football now," Smith said of the Egyptian international.
Trezeguet wrapped up his maiden season at Villa by scoring seven goals and providing three assists in 41 games in all competitions.
"It was a very tough season for me and the club and I am rewarded for my efforts with the team. I had to fight all through the season to have a starting role with the team," he stated.
"But I was sure that I would have the chance to establish myself with the team. When I got the chance I proved myself and I helped the team secure their place in the Premier League."
The disciplined, hard-working winger gained more confidence and became a key player for Aston Villa in the new term, helping them to one of their best starts to a season as they collected 22 points from 12 games.
However, his progress was hampered after he picked up a hamstring injury that will likely keep him out for a few weeks.
He is expected to be back in early January for a fresh start and new goals.
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