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Sep 18, 2008

Zaki as good as Shearer, claims Wigan chief

Wigan Athletic chairman Dave Whelan has likened new Premier League goalscoring sensation Amr Zaki to England and Newcastle legend Alan Shearer. Whelan, who claimed earlier this week that Latics manager Steve Bruce was one of the top four coaches in the world, spent months negotiating a deal for the Egypt international.

Zaki has repaid his persistence with five goals in as many games since agreeing a season-long loan deal from Zamalek.

"When you look at this lad and his build, he is the same height, weight, everything about him, he is like Alan Shearer," Whelan said.

"He has the same confidence when he gets the ball, he knows where the goal is, he doesn't need to look up, he has this instinct.

"Strikers like that have an instinct as to where the goal is. You can't describe it, you can't give it to anybody.

"Certain people have it and Alan Shearer was one who had it in abundance, and this lad is exactly the same.

"He has this ability to score goals. Sometimes there is no danger, but then, wham, and the ball is in the back of the net."

Whelan insists he has not been too surprised at how quickly Zaki has adjusted to the demands of the English game but admitted that he was initially stunned when Bruce targeted the 25-year-old.

"When the boss first mentioned him, I thought: 'A striker from Egypt? Very unusual," Whelan said.

"But Steve told me that he possessed the best goalscoring record in international football at present, and again I thought, 'From Egypt? No'. But Steve was correct.

"And when you watch him, he will not give in, he will not give up. He fights and runs, and he is wonderful."

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