Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has been urged to monitor the progress of new Stoke City signing Ramadan Sobhi with the view of bringing him to Old Trafford in the near future. Sobhi has swapped Egyptian Premier League club Al Ahly for the Potters and former manager Martin Jol is tipping the 19-year-old for great things.
Mark Hughes' side have acquired the Egypt international for a fee which could rise to €6m [£5m, $6.6m], the club have confirmed. Despite still being in his teenage years, Sobhi has already made 71 senior club appearances, scoring 17 goals, and won five major honours during his short professional career.
Such rapid progress has seen him linked with moves to Europe but it is Stoke who have won the race for the winger, who can also play as a second striker. But Jol – the former Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham boss - feels the Cairo-born player can go all the way in the game and has already altered United to his talent.
"I sent a message to Jose Mourinho, who is in touch with me, and asked him to keep an eye on Ramadan with Stoke City," he said, according to the Stoke Sentinel. "He is a brilliant player and he can play at Manchester United after that. I tried to keep Sobhi in my squad but he insisted on taking his chance in the Premier League. I hope he will succeed in England and I will always support him. I am confident he is ready to play in the English top flight."
Sobhi joins four other players who are currently applying their trade in England, to hail from Egypt. Mohamed Elneny is the highest profile of the quartet having moved to Arsenal from FC Basel during the January transfer window, while the others include Ahmed Elmohamady of newly-promoted Hull City, Sam Morsy of Championship club Wigan Athletic and Adam El-Abd of Gillingham.
United boss Mourinho has a chequered history with Egyptian players having signed Mohamed Salah during his second spell with Chelsea – only to loan him out 12 months after his arrival in west London. Sobhi will be hoping to eclipse Salah's career in the Premier League and Hughes is thrilled by the capture.
"I feel it's an exciting capture and he's certainly an exciting young player," he told Stoke's official website. "It may take him a while to understand the Premier League because it does for creative players, but he has good experience for somebody who is so young.
"There is a lot of interest in him in his home country as well and he's had to deal with that for a couple of years so that shows he has maturity. He'll need that because the Premier League is a difficult league, but I've spoken to him and spent time with him and he seems a very mature young man."