Aguirre on El-Said and Soliman's qualities for Egypt at the Afcon

Javier Aguirre Al-Wahda 2017
The Pharaohs boss elected to include more veterans in his squad after the hosting rights were handed to the North African nation

Egypt manager Javier Aguirre has revealed how Caf's ruling on the hosting rights of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) changed his plans.

The Mexican boss had relied on young players since his appointment in August but decided to undergo a change in strategy after Cameroon were stripped of hosting the biennial showpiece.

"Egypt's hosting of the Nations Cup opened the door for some experienced players," Aguirre said in an interview with the Egyptian Football Association's official website .

"We want to make the most of their experience and recent fine displays."

The 60-year-old manager chose to include Pyramids playmaker Abdallah El-Said and Al Ahly winger Walid Soliman as well as Aston Villa's 31-year-old right wingback Ahmed Elmohamady and Arab Contractors striker Ahmed Ali (33), who is the Egyptian league's top scorer with 18 goals.

33-year-old El-Said was an important player under Aguirre’s predecessor Hector Cuper, while injury-plagued Soliman (34) rarely featured for the Pharaohs but has impressed recently with Al Ahly.

"I'm very happy to have El-Said and Soliman in my squad; they provide different qualities. Ali will also enhance competition in the frontline. I called him up before but he was unlucky with injuries," Aguirre added.

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The host nation begins their search for an eighth African title against Zimbabwe on June 21 before games against DR Congo and Uganda follow on June 26 and June 30 respectively.

"The three teams are similar to a big extent in terms of organization. They have pace which they perfectly use to hit their opponents on the break," Aguirre said.

"This will put us under pressure and we will have to be fully focused on taking our chances."