South African Premier Soccer League side Bidvest Wits have announced the signing of Egyptian international forward Amr Gamal from Al Ahly.
Gamal will add to the striking options of coach Gavin Hunt that have proven hit-and-miss, despite the side winning the league title in the 2016/17 season.
"Egyptian striker Amr Gamal has joined us on a one-year loan from Al Ahly. Welcome to the family," Wits tweeted on Tuesday.
Gamal becomes the first Egyptian player to feature in the South African domestic league and his capture from Ahly, albeit in loan, should be viewed as a feather in the cap and both Wits and the PSL.
What makes the deal even more remarkable is that it was Gamal who approached Wits about joining them, rather than the club chasing the player. He had played against the Johannesburg-based side in the CAF Champions League earlier this season and liked their style of play.
But it was on Wits' trip to Egypt again in May to face Smouha in the Confederation Cup that Gamal and his agent snuck in through the back door of the hotel to meet Wits coach Hunt and ask for a chance to play for the team.
Gamal has been frustrated by a lack of playing time in the Ahly first team since the club brought in imports from Ghana and Nigeria, but he was still their lead attacker in the Champions League this year. Wits have been in negotiations with Ahly for three months in what officials described as a frustrating process.
Gamal must now wait for his work-permit and will vie with Englishman James Keene, Malawian Gabadinho Mhango, and locals Eleazar Rodgers and Phakamani Mahlambi for a place in the side.