Egypt's World Cup player profiles: Ramadan Sobhi, the talented winger

Ahram Online, Sunday 10 Jun 2018,
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Ramadan Sobhi

Ramadan Sobhi’s struggles with relegated Stoke City in the Premier League mean coach Hector Cuper is less likely to include him in Egypt’s starting line-ups for the three group-stage games at the World Cup.

He has recently lost his regular place to Turkish-based winger Mahmoud ‘Trezeguet’ Hassan but he remains one of the players who Cuper can call upon in the crucial stages of any game.

Sobhi, who made a five-man shortlist for Africa's most promising talent award in 2016, is a talented winger best known for his ability to skip past opponents in one-on-ones and drift inside.

The 21-year-old hasn’t been able to play on a regular basis with Stoke City since joining from Cairo giants Ahly in the summer of 2016 for a fee believed to be £5 million. He scored two goals in 24 Premier league appearances this season.

"He's ready to play. He's enthusiastic to play. He's got really good attributes, but also needs to look at certain aspects of the game,” Stoke City's coach Paul Lambert Lambert said of Sobhi in March.

"But he's got speed and he's in my thoughts."

Sobhi became the second youngest player to feature with Egypt's senior team after former striker Mido when he came on as a second-half substitute in their 3-0 victory over Tanzania in a Nations Cup qualifier in June 2015. He was only 17 years, 11 months and 18 days.

His contribution in two crucial Nations Cup qualifiers against Nigeria was key in helping Egypt reach the 2017 tournament for the first time since 2010. He came on as a late substitute to create a goal for Mohamed Salah as Egypt salvaged a 1-1 draw at Nigeria before scoring the only goal in a 1-0 home win over the Super Eagles which effectively took the Pharaohs to the Gabon finals.

Ramadan made four appearances at the Nations Cup, helping Egypt reach the final where they lost 2-1 to Cameroon.

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