Zaki's 9th goal came at Portsmouth, a penalty fired down the middle past David James.
Reports had linked Zaki with a £15million move to Real Madrid, with compensation going to Wigan for agreeing to end their loan of him, but this did not materialise.
There followed a period of absence of over 3 weeks, succumbing to flu and an old calf injury. Soon after returning though, Zaki took his goal tally to 10 with a penalty against Newcastle on Boxing Day. That triggered a £500,000 payment from Wigan to Zamalek. Two days later he made it four out of four with another penalty scored against Bolton.
The January transfer window saw Zaki's strike partner Emile Heskey leave for Aston Villa, while Egyptian teammate Mido arrived on loan. Zaki stayed put though in a goalless month which included a defeat at Manchester City when his challenge on Richard Dunne prompted the defender to kick out in retaliation and get a red card.
Interest in Zaki had seemingly cooled. Since he scored his 8th goal in his 10th game, at Liverpool in October, he had only added 3 goals, all from penalties before the turn of the year. He hit out at criticism and said he had still "done well." It had given Steve Bruce a dilemna though and Zaki would soon find himself in and out of the starting line-up.