'Impressive' winger Ramadan Sobhi not certain to start against West Brom

Hatem Maher , Friday 23 Sep 2016

Ramadan Sobhi
Stoke City's Egyptian winger Ramadan Sobhi (Reuters)

Stoke City coach Mark Hughes lavished praise on youngster Ramadan Sobhi for the second time in a few days but stopped short of confirming whether he would start Saturday's English Premier League game against West Bromwich Albion.

The Egyptian international, 19, was named man of the match after making his full debut in a midweek League Cup game although Stoke lost 2-1 to Hull City to bow out of the competition.

He showed glimpses of his talent which prompted Stoke to sign him from Egyptian giants Ahly for a fee believed to be £5 million in the summer, evading his challengers in one-on-one situations in the same manner as he used to do back home.

Hughes said after the game that Sobhi's performance was "fantastic" and he reiterated his admiration for him again on Friday.

"He was impressive in midweek and he really enjoyed being given the opportunity, and I am sure the supporters enjoyed watching him in action too," Hughes said on Stoke's official website.

"He is a positive player, he likes to get the ball at his feet and move forward, and I like that trait in attacking players.  He is improving week in, week out and he is going to have a big impact here - there is no doubt about that in my mind."

However, despite calls from many Stoke fans on social media for Hughes to include him in the starting line-up against West Bromwich, the 52-year-old boss said Sobhi still needed time to adapt to life in the elite Premier League.

"He is still going to have times where he will have to take a step back, watch and learn from the Premier League because it is difficult to come here, at such a young age, and make an immediate impact," he added.

"He will play a big role for us, whether that is immediately I'm not too sure because he is still getting to grips with everything, but we are certainly going to enjoy watching him in the next few years."

Hughes has come in for fierce criticism after Stoke made a poor start to the season, drawing once and losing four times in their opening five matches. They lie at the bottom of the Premier League table with a solitary point. 

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