Olympics: Egypt's U23 star Ramadan Sobhi eyeing route back to Europe

Should Ramadan Sobhi make his mark at the Olympic Games, he could enhance his prospects of moving overseas in the close season

Ahram Online , Tuesday 20 Jul 2021
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For Ramadan Sobhi, the undisputed star of Egypt's U23 team, the Olympic Games will be a golden chance to showcase his capabilities on the international stage and open a new route back to Europe.

The talented winger has not abandoned his hope of reviving his career in European football after unfruitful spells with Stoke City and Huddersfield in the English Premier League.

He has been on a rollercoaster ride since leaving Huddersfield and returning to boyhood club Ahly on a loan deal in the summer of 2019.

Although he shone with the Red Devils, improving his goal-scoring abilities under Swiss coach Rene Weiler and regaining the form that saw him earn a move to Stoke in 2016, he dropped a bombshell by snubbing an Ahly offer to sign him on a permanent basis to join the big-spending Pyramids FC last year.

Local reports said he would earn a whopping EGP 80 million ($5 million) over three seasons with Pyramids.

The money was tempting but Pyramids' inability to get adequate return from their investments, having failed to win any trophy or even challenge the domestic hegemony of Ahly, is reportedly a cause of concern for the ambitious Sobhi.

Reports said Sobhi had asked his agent to get him a European offer amid links with Turkish giants Galatasaray.

Should the 24-year-old make his mark at the Olympic Games, he could enhance his prospects of moving overseas in the close season.

Sobhi was the architect of Egypt's U23 African Nations Cup triumph in 2019, scoring three goals, including an extra-time winner in the final against the Ivory Coast, and winning the tournament's best player award as the young Pharaohs clinched the title on home soil.

He will be up against the world's finest in Tokyo, with Egypt drawn in a tough group that includes heavyweights Spain and Argentina as well as Australia.

"We know that our group is difficult and that it's totally different from what we faced in the African Nations Cup," Sobhi said in a television interview.

"At the Nations Cup, we played at home with a big fan support but we will now play abroad in a different time zone against very tough teams. However, we should have confidence in our abilities to produce good results."

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