When Mohamed Zidan moved to Mainz 05 on deadline day of the January transfer window, they had a decent idea of what they were getting. After all it would be the Egyptian striker’s third spell with the Carnival club.
Mo and Mainz have always had a special relationship. It’s the club where Zidan made his name in Germany spending a couple of seasons on loan before joining on a permanent basis as the club’s record signing. During his first two spells he scored 22 goals in 41 games including the fastest goal in Bundesliga history (14 seconds) while wearing their colours.
Mainz is also where he met his mentor Jurgen Klopp. The man who bought him to Borussia Dortmund where he had four successful years culminating in winning the Bundesliga title last season. Unfortunately during the tail end of his Dortmund career a knee injury kept Mo on the sidelines for 10 months. As he came back to full fitness in January he found first team opportunities limited. So when he was offered regular football at his old club he jumped at the chance and the O-Fivers welcomed back their most expensive son back with open arms.
They may not have realised at the time but when they brought Zidan back to the Coface Arena, Mainz had signed, on current form, the hottest player in Germany.
Since his return Mohamed Zidan has been exceptional. He’s scored three times in his first three games, which accounts for all of his team’s goals in that period. In the last three weeks he’s been awarded two man-of-the-match awards, was voted Bundesliga player of the week and is a certainty to be named Player of the Month for February. Without his goals Mainz would have been sucked into a relegation battle but with the gifted Egyptian in their ranks the Carnival club are looking ahead instead of over their shoulder.
It’s not just his club that will be grateful Zidan is fit and scoring goals. Egypt start their bid to qualify for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations at the end of the month and will be glad they can call on Zizou. He was unavailable for much of their failed qualification campaign for the last tournament. But with the sharp shooter back in the squad The Pharaohs will be confident of putting the pain of missing out on Gabon and Equatorial Guinea behind them.