Gedo and Ahmed Fathi tipped to shine at Hull City, three years on from Egyptian glory
JANUARY 31 was a fitting date for Hull City to announce the arrival of Egypt internationals Ahmed Elmohamady, Ahmed Fathi and Gedo at the KC Stadium.
Exactly three years earlier the trio stood shoulder to shoulder to lift the 2010 African Cup of Nations after a 1-0 victory over Ghana in Luanda.
A third consecutive tournament win was Egyptian football's crowning glory. No side had achieved such a feat before in its 56-year history.
All three of City's loan stars combined to play their part in that landmark hat-trick in January 2010 and now a reunion offers up the chance for further glory.
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Signing loan deals until the end of the season within an hour of each other on Thursday, Elmohamady, Fathi and Gedo have teamed-up in East Yorkshire with the shared ambition to drive City back towards the Premier League.
As the familiar face in these parts, Elmohamady will be tasked with helping the two new boys to settle quickly during the final months of the Championship season.
That process will begin when the Egyptian national side gather today ahead of their friendly with Chile in Madrid on Wednesday and continue when Elmohamady escorts Fathi and Gedo to England on Thursday in time for the Tigers' trip to Brighton next weekend.
Elmohamady was on his own for Saturday's win at Millwall but is certain City's deadline-day reinforcements will be provide a fresh impetus.
"I spoke with Gedo, who is my friend, last week and he told me that he hoped to come here," Elmohamady told the Mail.
"It is great news to see both of them here. I have played with them in the national team and I believe they can come here and do well.
"They are very good players. It's a big, big challenge for them but they can come here and show how good they are.
"It's a great chance for them and a great chance for us to get into the Premier League."
Elmohamady is well qualified to pen an appraisal of City's new boys.
Fathi has been an international team-mate since 2007 and a fellow veteran of African Nations success in 2008 and 2010. Gedo, meanwhile, was the super sub who won Egypt's 2010 trophy with an 85th-minute winner against Ghana in the final.
Having seen Elmohamady fly the nest to make a name for himself in English football, Fathi and Gedo were both willing to walk away from Al Ahly, a club Steve Bruce calls the Manchester United of Africa, to chase similar dreams on these shores.
And so begins their acid test.
"Gedo is a striker, who can also play behind a striker, and he started playing for Egypt in 2010 in Angola when he scored in the final," Elmohamady recalls.
"It was his first time with the national team and he came off the bench to score in the final against Ghana. He gave us a great day!
"He also plays very well for Al Ahly and he scores a lot of goals.
"Fathi is another good player. He has played behind me in the national team and also in midfield. He is very strong.
"With Fathi it is no problem coming here. He came here many years ago with Sheffield United and knows how to deal with the atmosphere.
"Gedo also has a lot of experience of playing in a high tempo like the Championship. I'm sure he will do well here."
City will inevitably become the focal point of huge interest from Egypt in the remaining months of the season.
Three household names will ply their trade at the KC Stadium under the watchful eye of Assem Allam, City's Egyptian-born owner.
Elmohamady takes pleasure from the swelling Egyptian ranks and said: "It's good here. I speak with the owner and he is a great man.
"It's nice for us to be together at one club and we hope we can help the club to get promoted."
Yesterday's trip to Millwall marked something of a fresh start for Elmohamady.
Recalled by Sunderland in the middle of last month, a 16-day stay on Wearside was only cut short when Martin O'Neill gave his blessing to a second loan with the Tigers.
Bruce could not have been more relieved. The 25-year-old has become a hugely-important figure in his plans and Elmohamady's absence at right wing-back coincided with a disjointed stumble through January.
"I'm very happy to be back here," said Elmohamady. "It was a surprise for me to go back to Sunderland. It came at the last hour and it surprised us all.
"I spoke with the two managers and I told them I wanted to play football. It was important for me to keep on playing like I had for the last five months.
"Martin O'Neill spoke with me on Thursday and said I was allowed to go back to Hull again. He wished me all the best and good luck for promotion, so I was very happy.
"It has been a great time for me here. The fans, the players and the manager and now I'm looking for promotion."