Exclusive: Ramadan Sobhi Q&A ft. KingFut
For Stoke fans, the wait for the club’s first signing appears to be almost over as 19 year old Egyptian wonderkid Ramadan Sobhi looks almost certain to be a Potter. He’s arriving from Egyptian Premier League champions Al Ahly, managed by ex-Fulham boss Martin Jol. It was Jol who revealed Sobhi’s departure from the club and, with Stoke being the only club who have been known to have made a formal approach for Ramadan, it’s certainly looking likely that the Potters have won his signature. Sobhi is understood to be signing a five year deal at Stoke and come at a price between €3.5m and €5.8m (probably from the former to latter with add-ons).
Last week was where the serious news about Sobhi began to emerge and with that signalled and influx of thoughts, opinions and support from hundreds of Egyptian fans across all Stoke City social medias. For example, after a tweet that I sent regarding Sobhi, here’s some examples of what some of Sobhi’s fans had to say:
@Ben_Rowley56 Good job..Stoke City will be granted CL place with Sobhi.Congratulation for ever best signs in PL
— khalid (@khalid_hekal) July 5, 2016
@Ben_Rowley56 please support him in his new career , he deserve that . media in England is so hard and he is till young
— Mahmoud Eissa (@drmkamel232) July 5, 2016
So yeah, I think it’s safe to say ‘Ramadona’ is one of the best players that the Egyptians have ever seen. Indeed, his transfer fee is the highest in Egyptian Premier League history.
Now obviously, in England we do not get much coverage of Egyptian football so it might be hard for us Stoke fans to have a balanced on opinion on Sobhi; similarly for his fans in Egypt who obviously have a love and bias for their player. During the last week, I have received a lot of information regarding the Sobhi saga (including exclusives and opinion pieces) from Egyptian and African football news website KingFut. To get a more accurate and detailed opinion on Ramadona, TBPTV asked KingFut whether they would answer some questions for us. Very kindly, they did:
TBPTV – Can you give fans a brief overview of Sobhi’s career so far?
KingFut – Sobhi caught attention in the Sheikh Zayed tournament with Al Ahly’s U-17 team in 2014, impressing in games against Atletico Madrid and Botafogo. His debut with the senior team was that same year, and has appeared 67 times since then in all competitions.
TBPTV – What would you say Sobhi’s biggest strength is?
KingFut – His biggest strength is his skill. He’s absolutely mesmerising with the ball in his feet. He could outwit most defenders in the tightest of spaces; one second he’s here, the other he’s gone.
TBPTV – And his weakness?
KingFut – His weakness could probably be his goal record, it’s decent for a youngster but he still could improve in that regards.
TBPTV – How do you think Sobhi will adapt to English football?
KingFut – I think he won’t have a huge problem with adapting to the physical nature of English football. Sobhi is pretty strong and athletic, he’s fast and has got great stamina. He would probably have some problems with the language and adapting to a different culture, but I think he’s got a professional mindset even though it’s still early to tell for sure.
TBPTV – How far can you see Sobhi going in his career?
KingFut – It’s tough to predict where a player would go because of the many different factors and how much Stoke would help him grow. In terms of talent and ability, the boy could be one of the best Egyptian players of all time. He already is one of the biggest talents ever in Egyptian history at his age, and one of the best in the country at the moment.
TBPTV – How big is this story for Egyptian football?
KingFut – The story is pretty big because he’s the biggest transfer to go from the Egyptian league, smashing the previous record sales.
TBPTV – Egyptian fans seem to love Ramadan, do you think they will continue to follow him in England?
KingFut – Egyptian fans will follow him closely to say the least and cafes in Egypt will probably show every single Stoke City game in hopes of seeing Sobhi on the field. Stoke social media accounts will get over flooded with Egyptians
TBPTV – Finally, is there anything else you would like to say about Sobhi or to the fans of Stoke City?
KingFut – To Stoke fans: you’ve got a real gem of a player in Sobhi, so enjoy seeing him play and take care of our boy.
It looks like we’d better get ready: one of the most naturally gifted Egyptians of all time is coming to Stoke City, as is half of Egypt!
Huge thank you to KingFut (www.kingfut.com, @King_Fut) for taking part in the Q&A, they’ve got loads of fantastic information and opinions on Sobhi on their website to check out! Also thank you to all the Egyptian fans who sent support to me, TBPTV and all Stoke City fans!
Interview conducted by Ben Rowley
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