Why Mostafa Mohamed could turn out to be a hidden gem for Rangers
According to Egyptian international turned pundit Haytham Farouk (h/t The Scottish Sun), Rangers are in negotiations to sign Egyptian striker Mostafa Mohamed, who currently plies his trade with Cairo giants Zamalek.
The 22-year-old is widely regarded as one of the best emerging striking prospects in Africa and Farouk has confirmed that Rangers boss Steven Gerrard has sent his delegates to hold talks with the youngster over a potential switch to Ibrox in the upcoming transfer window. (h/t Scottish Sun)
As per the report, Rangers could be set to strengthen their squad during the mid-season trading period and Mostafa Mohamed has emerged as a shock target for the Gers, who are apparently keen to prioritise a deal for a new striker in January.
Mohamed was the top-scorer in the U-23 Africa Cup of Nations last month as Egypt lifted the trophy and his burgeoning reputation as one of the highest-rated young strikers across the continent has put Rangers on red alert.
Born in Giza, Egypt, Mohamed rose through the youth ranks of national heavyweights Zamalek before making his first-team debut back in 2016.
However, he had to go through loan spells at fellow top-flight clubs El Dakhleya, Tanta and Tala’ea El Gaiah before establishing himself as a regular at his boyhood club this term.
The 22-year-old, who racked up an impressive tally of 12 goals and 5 assists in the Egyptian Premier League during his loan spell at Tala’ea El Gaiah last term, has scored twice and assisted once in 9 appearances for Zamalek in all competitions so far this season.
Mohamed’s rich vein of form for Egypt U-23s has also earned him a couple of senior international caps for his nation this year.
Meanwhile, Rangers missed a glorious chance to grab their first piece of silverware in the ongoing campaign, as the Gers lost 1-0 to arch-rivals Celtic in the final of the Betfred Cup at Hampden Park on Sunday, thanks to a solitary goal from Christopher Jullien.
Gerrard’s side failed to make their chances count in front of goal, with Fraser Forster saving Alfredo Morelos’ spot-kick following a bizarre sequence of events that ended in a red card for Celtic right-back Jeremie Frimpong midway through the second half.
It hasn’t been a good week for Rangers, who also lost valuable ground in the title race following a 2-2 draw against Aberdeen back on Wednesday.
However, the Ibrox giants will have a chance to make amends when they play host to Young Boys on Matchday 6 of the UEFA Europa League in an encounter that could well decide the fate of qualification to the knockout rounds.
To put things into perspective, Mostafa Mohamed is still a completely unknown entity in European football but Rangers could well be on their way to uncovering the latest gem from across the globe if they manage to lure the youngster to Ibrox from his native Egypt.
The 22-year-old’s impressive goalscoring record in the domestic league has earned himself international recognition with Egypt and Rangers have every reason to look at him as an excellent long-term investment moving forward.
The striker’s lack of previous experience in Europe makes him somewhat of a gamble for Rangers but he seems to have the talent and the potential to make the step up to a more competitive league in the coming days.
Also, Mohamed still has his best days ahead of him at 22 and Rangers certainly need to polish a few gems if they are to make strides towards ousting Celtic from the domestic throne.
It is worth reminding that Morelos was a complete rookie when he came through the door at Ibrox from the Finnish top-flight and the Colombian’s raging success means that the Gers should not hesitate to spread their nets far and wide in a bid to unearth hidden gems.
Jermain Defoe’s loan spell from Bournemouth expires in the summer of 2020, and even if the Gers manage to sign the 37-year-old permanently, a younger striker with a lot of potential like Mohamed certainly fits the bill.
With Morelos’ burgeoning reputation as a bonafide goalscorer continuing to attract widespread interest from across Europe (h/t Sky Sports), Rangers might have to part ways with the Colombian in the near future if they receive an offer which they simply can’t turn down.
Mohamed would need time to acclimatize to his new surroundings should a move to Rangers eventually come to fruition but the Gers would be better off looking at him as a project player rather than someone who could possibly come in and make an immediate impact.
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All in all, Rangers’ links with Mostafa Mohamed certainly strikes the right chords and this is a move that could well pay off handsomely for Gerrard in the years to follow.