Egypt's Mostafa Mohamed takes Turkish football by storm

Hatem Maher , Sunday 28 Feb 2021

Mostafa Mohamed began his life in Turkish football with six goals in as many appearances, with Galatasaray saying they intend to make his loan deal permanent at the end of the year

Mostafa Mohamed

Mostafa Mohamed hardly seems a new arrival in Turkish football, taking no time to settle in and showing his true worth to make an explosive start to his Galatasaray adventure.

The red-hot striker, who less than two years ago was a little known player in Egyptian football, earned wide acclaim after scoring six goals in as many Galatasaray appearances, having joined from Cairo giants Zamalek on a year-and-a-half loan deal last month.

During those six games, Mohamed displayed all the attributes that made him Zamalek's top marksman last season.

He proved a handful to opposing defenders with his physical presence in the area, his timely runs behind them and his ability to hold up the ball on the edge of the area.

He also showcased his knack to net from difficult scoring positions and from half chances, which was evident when he scored a precious winner in a 1-0 victory over Fenerbahce in the Istanbul derby on 6 February.

A sea of defenders seemed to block his way but, in an unexpected twist, he tricked a challenger on the edge of the box and found the bottom corner with a precise low shot.

Mohamed, who gets the nod ahead of veteran Colombian striker Radamel Falcao, also always pops up at the right time to score from rebounds and loose balls, and shows nerves of steel when he steps up to take a penalty.

"Mohamed is playing extremely well. It's very important for forwards to take control of the ball and push us forward, and he does this job very well," Galatasaray coach Fatih Terim said after the 23-year-old scored the winner in a 2-1 victory over Kasimpasa on 14 February.

"It is important that he scores goals, even from the spot. He is an important and talented player who I hope will get even better."

Such a dazzling start has already prompted Galatasaray officials to assert that they will take up an option to make his deal permanent at the end of the year for $4 million.

Excitement is also building up back home, with comparisons already being drawn with Mohamed Salah's start to his European adventure with Swiss side Basel FC in 2012.

Cafes around the country now show Galatasaray's games, which are exclusively broadcast by Qatari network beIN Sport.

"Any Egyptian channel would gain a lot of money if it buys the rights to air Galatasray's matches, given the millions of viewers that it will attract," said football pundit Khaled Bayoumi.

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