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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 13 November 2018

Hussein El Shahat confirms commitment to Al Ain amid reports of move to Al Ahly

Egyptian midfielder has proved a success in UAE football, helping the Garden City club to the domestic double last season

Hussein El Shahat was with Al Ain for pre-season ahead of the new Arabian Gulf League season. Courtesy Al Ain FC
Hussein El Shahat was with Al Ain for pre-season ahead of the new Arabian Gulf League season. Courtesy Al Ain FC

Hussein El Shahat has underlined his commitment to Al Ain after reports emerged recently linking the Egyptian with a return to his homeland with Al Ahly.

The midfielder, who joined the Garden City club only in January, was an integral part to Al Ain's double success last season, helping his side win both the Arabian Gulf League (AGL) and the President’s Cup. It marked the first time in Al Ain's history they had secured both trophies in the same campaign.

Signed initially on loan from Egypt’s Misr El Makkasa, El Shahat scored seven goals and registered nine assists in 11 AGL appearances and was later voted the league’s fans’ player of the year. He made permanent his transfer in March, agreeing to a contract with Al Ain that runs through to 2021.

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However, El Shahat’s form prompted rumours of a return to Egypt with Ahly, the current domestic champions. Yet, having just met up with the Al Ain squad at their pre-season camp in Slovenia, the winger played down any talk of a move.

“Honestly, all my feelings, focus and emotions as a professional footballer are directed only at achieving the goals of my club, Al Ain,” El Shahat told the club’s official website on Sunday.

“I need everyone to know that my relationship with Al Ain is not just a football player defending the logo of his team. I consider myself along with all my teammates as one family in an elite-level professional sports organisation that has clearly defined plans moving forward.

“All members of this enjoy the feelings of honour and pride as they consider it their home. On the personal level, I celebrated with the team in clinching the historic double titles, which are the first in my career and the most important milestone in all my life.”

As well as seeking to defend the league and the President's Cup this season, Al Ain will contest for the first time the Fifa Club World Cup, which takes place in the UAE in December.