Rising star of Egyptian football Sherif Ashraf has revealed that he is inspired to follow in the footsteps of this seasons surprise package in the Premier League, Amr Zaki, who is on loan from Ashraf’s current club Zamalek to Wigan Athletic.
21-year-old Ashraf joined Zamalek from Al Ahly in 2007, where the striker was known as ‘the goal machine’ for his exploits in rising through the youth set-up at the Egyptian side and has been prolific for the Egyptian Under-17 and Under-20 National side, with a call up to the full squad very much on the horizon for Ashraf.
“My main goal is to be successful with Zamalek and this will help me gain a place in the Egyptian national team squad. Although it is difficult to compete with the best strikers in Egypt, who are some of the best in Egyptian football history, including players such as Zaki, Mido, Zidan and Abou Treika, I am trying my best to get a call-up to the national team,” Ashraf told IMScouting.com.
“I am proud to be the top goal scorer in Egyptian youth competition history with more than 500 goals. I was the top scorer for more than 13 years, but I know this is not enough and I need to gain more experience.
“Amr Zaki is my favourite player and the team mate I used to most enjoy playing with at Zamalek last season. His success in the English Premier League is inspiring me to follow in his footsteps and that is the next stage I hope to progress to in my career.”
Ashraf has a market value of around £350,000, but it is understood that Zamalek are keen to offload the striker in a loan deal in an attempt to replicate the success of the Zaki deal with the Latics, who’s stock has soared since arriving in the Premiership this summer.
As Ashraf is fluent in English and is believed to have the character to adjust to a move to the Premier League, the forward could interest teams like Tottenham Hotspur, Bolton Wanderers, Sunderland, Everton, Middlesbrough, West Bromwich Albion or Stoke City, who are all in need of more firepower at their respective clubs.