Sunderland boss Steve Bruce is surprised that Egyptian footballers are not highly rated in Europe, stressing that Ahmed Elmohamady has exceeded expectations with the Black Cats.
The manager who brought in Amr Zaki and Mido to Wigan two seasons ago has once again kept the faith in an Egypt international this term.
Having earned the praise of his coach on several occasions in the past, ENPPI loanee Elmohamady seems to be all set to win a permanent deal next season.
“Ahmed’s a little raw, but he’ll get a lot sharper with experience and when he comes back next season it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s come on again,” Bruce said in the Sunderland Echo.
“We’ll look to get the deal done at the right time. He’s tied down to us contractually so there’s no one else who can take him off us.
“I didn’t expect him to make the impact he has because he was still so young when we brought him over.
“But he’s got 22 caps for his country and he’s still only in his early 20s, so you know he’s got to have something.
“People look down a little on Egypt and I never know why – in the FIFA rankings last year they were ranked ninth in the world.”
El-mohamady made 25 appearances out of 27 for Sunderland so far this season as Bruce’s men lie seventh in the Premier League table.