Looking Closer: Ramadan Sobhi

Reports broke earlier this morning suggest that Stoke have reached an agreement around 6 million Euros with Al Ahly for their promising winger Ramadan Sobhi. So what can Sobhi bring to the Premier League?

Well the first guarantee is that Sobhi will cause a surge in the employment of physios. His devastating turn of speed, and ability to turn sharply will leave full backs waking in cold sweats the week before knowing they face this dangerous wonder kid. If you don’t believe me check out the Egyptians ankle shattering ability for yourself:

Sobhi’s playing style is very similar to our own mercurial Austrian winger, Marko Arnautovic. He stands at 6 foot tall, is a strong physical player, with fantastic acceleration which he uses to leave defenders trailing behind him. Like Arnie, Sobhi is more comfortable on the left wing, cutting inside of his full back rather than beating him on the outside.

Sobhi is currently enjoying his breakthrough season, and it has truly been magnificent. So far he has made 66 appearances for Al Ahly scoring 14 and providing 14 assists, a goal in nearly every 4 matches. Having only turned 19 a matter of days ago these figures are truly astounding. Obviously the Egyptian Premier League and African Champions League are not on par in quality with their European counterparts, but the quality is certainly of standard that makes these figures highly attractive.

Sobhi has also earned 6 international caps, after making his debut in June 2015, and has managed to find the net once for his country. The most exciting part to this player is the hype surrounding him. Sobhi is regarded as the best talent in Africa, yes the entire continent, and for this reason has previously had clubs such as Arsenal tracking his progress. No one rates Sobhi higher than his current, and hopefully soon to be former, manager Martin Jol. Jol threatened to quit his job earlier this summer, at the time our interest began to be reported and the boards of the two clubs entered into early discussion.

Jol declared Sobhi the greatest talent he had ever worked with, and whilst the manager’s career has been extremely hit and miss this is a very big statement. Seeing as the Dutchman has managed players such as Dimitar Berbatov, Gareth Bale and even Luis Suarez, saying Sobhi is better than all of these certainly gets me excited.

The Egyptian will be unlikely to come straight into the starting XI, but will certainly be a lot more involved with the first team squad than our other 19 year old winger Moha. He will provide a fantastic option from the bench to inject pace into the game against a tiring defence, and will be able to cover should one of our first choice wingers (whoever they may be come August). The deal, unfortunately, is far from over; some sources are reporting Al Ahly won’t sell him until they have a replacement; and the dreaded work permit application process has not been one that has favoured Stoke of late. Despite this, Sobhi is an opportunity that cannot be missed, if he lives up to the hype surrounding him, the Egyptian could become one of the best players in Europe.

Oh and before I forget here is the customary highlights video:

Written by Tom Thrower

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