Stoke City coach Paul Lambert has explained the reason behind the absence of his winger Ramadan Sobhi in recent matches, hailing the Egyptian intentional who could return in Monday's anticipated Premiere League game against Manchester City.
“I had to get him [Sobhi] to grasp what I wanted him to do without the ball because I felt we were too open," Lambert said in City's match press conference.
“He’s lightning quick, I think he’s strong, very strong, but he had to understand where I wanted him without the ball and that took a wee bit of time," he added.
The former Ahly winger has made just one appearance since Lambert's appointment in January; making a late substitute appearance against Huddersfield in a Premier League game on 20 January.
Despite Lambert's concerns about Ramadan's movement without the ball, the coach heaped praise on the Pharaohs star.
“But he’s definitely getting there. The biggest compliment I can give Ramadan is that he’s really unpredictable, which is a great asset to have," the coach said.
“He’s only a young kid as well and without the ball we needed a little bit more nous from him. But he’ll be back in contention for this week," he concluded.
Ramadan's agent Nader Shawky recently said that the player's lack of playing time with Stoke City this season is not understandable, adding: "I'm going to England in April to settle things. He has four years to run on his contract, but I will see where his interests lie. His numbers are good, so why doesn't he play?"
Sobhi joined Stoke from Cairo giants Ahly on a four-year contract in the summer of 2016. He had his deal extended by the club for another season in October.
He has made 21 appearances in all competitions so far this season, scoring four goals including two in the elite Premier League.
He became Stoke's youngest ever scorer in the Premier League when he struck in the 3-1 home victory over West Bromwich in December.
Stoke are battling to avoid relegation as they currently lie at 19th place with 27 points, 51 behind leaders Manchester City.
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