Kahraba 22 Midfielder Al-Ittihad (on loan from Zamalek SC) Egypt
Fiery but prodigiously gifted superstar Egyptian winger that has struggled to find a permanent home for his talents. Mahmoud Abdel-Moneim, commonly known as Kahraba (Electricity), made his debut for The ENPPI Club in the Egyptian Premier League. Featuring regularly for the Cairo outfit during the 2012-13 season, Kahraba's outstanding performances at junior international level kept him prominent in the notebooks of scouts from across Europe but it was FC Luzern of the Swiss Super League who were first to react, negotiating a season long loan to the Swisspoareana in August 2013.
Kahraba enjoyed a strong first season in European football. Afforded licence to express his talents by coach Carlos Bernegger the teenage attacker demonstrated his versatility, regularly switching flanks and operating just behind a main striker to equal effect. Seven goals from thirteen appearances from the Egyptian elevated the Lucerne club as high as second at one point but a less rosy picture was painted behind the scenes. Facing disciplinary action by the club for a series of altercations with the coaching staff that had indulged him to such great effect, Kahraba was returned to his parent club before the end of the season. Nevertheless, his form had impressed enough other potential suitors and Grasshopper Zurich quickly stepped in with another loan offer.
The 2014-15 season was a far more chastening experience for Kahraba as Grasshoppers struggled for form and consistency. Used only fleetingly and rarely to any great effect the midfielder returned to Egypt at the close of 2014. Citing his frustration at a lack of regular starts in Switzerlandthere was widespread speculation that Kahraba would join Al Ahly but instead saw out the season with ENPPI, regaining some form along the way. At the campaign drew to a close, Cairo giants Zamalek agreed a deal that would take Kahraba to the White Knights.
2016 has been...
Gathering pace. Scoring on his Zamalek debut in the Egyptian Super league, the CAF Champions League and the Egyptian Super Cup, Kahraba quickly affirmed his status as the golden boy of Egyptian soccer. An impressive season at the Cairo international Stadium reminded many watching scouts of just how able the young winger could be. Once more given the opportunity to express his talents, Kahraba frequently interchanged position to cause maximum damage as Zamalek ran Ahly close in a race to the league title. Fourteen goals and eight assists were claimed from 39 matches but many observers will suggest that those figures could easily have doubled, possibly trebled had Kahraba shown a little less selfishness and better judgement in the final third.
In the summer a delegation from the Saudi club Ittihad of Jeddah arrived in Cairo with he sole purpose of negotiating a deal for Kahraba. With the player open to a move in exchange for a significant pay rise and a regular starting place a season long loan deal was negotiated.
Injury problems have comprised Kahraba's season in the Saudi Pro League to a degree but whenever he has played he has stood out. A single handed demolition of Al-Wehda in September in which the Midfielder scored four and assisted one of Ittihad's five goals was a timely reminder of his ability.
You'd have to anticipate that Europe may once again come calling for Kahraba. The player was impressive during his initial period in Switzerland and some refinement to his game from a top level coach could be enough to elevate him from very good to world class. There are a host of caveats to include here, however, none more prominent than a questionable attitude which has left several coaches utterly exacerbated. Regular European watchers will recognise traces of many other brilliant but frustrating creative players; think somewhere between Hatem Ben Arfa and Mido to get a good handle of what we're dealing with. Kahraba is exceptionally talented but may see himself as better than he actually is. Idolised in Egypt and well paid in Saudi, Kahraba may well occupy a career in his comfort zone. We'll be watching the next move with great interest.
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