Former Stoke City winger Matthew Etherington has told The Sentinel that he has been mightily-impressed with the early performances of Potters' winger Ramadan Sobhi, tipping the talented youngster for a bright future in the game.
Egyptian starlet Sobhi, who made his debut for former club Al Alhi aged just 16, moved to the Bet365 Stadium for a £5million fee (as per BBC) over the summer, and has since gone on to make five appearances for the Potters in all competitions.
Although Stoke manager Mark Hughes has opted to bide his time in handing Alhi his first Premier League start, giving the precocious 19-year-old time to adjust to the rigorous demands of the Premier League, the former Wales boss threw caution to the wind by introducing the Egyptian whizz-kid after just 26 minutes during Monday's home clash with Swansea, following Xherdan Shaqiri's injury.
Sobhi grasped his opportunity to impress with both hand, with the plucky winger's unpredictable dribbling tying the Jacks' back-four in knots before his tantalising drilled cross forced Swans' defender Alfie Mawson to turn into his own net.
Sobhi's mixture of graft and guile on the left-hand side of midfield evoked memories of former Stoke fan-favourite Etherington's displays during his spell with the club between 2009 and 2014, and the 35-year-old has heaped praise on the Egyptian international, praising the youngster's admirable work-rate.
“Obviously he's got talent, but what I really liked was the work he was doing going the other way." Etherington told The Sentinel
“He looks like a man capable of creating, but he also worked his socks off for the team. I'm sure Mark Hughes will be delighted with him and I'm sure he's got a great career ahead of him at Stoke."
Etherington's glowing praise will be a huge boost to Sobhi's confidence, and Shaqiri's injury and Marko Arnautovic's suspension mean that the vibrant 19-year-old is in with a great chance of gaining his first league start for Stoke City against West Ham on Saturday.
Stoke are currently on a five-game unbeaten run which has propelled them up the Premier League table following a dismal start to the 2016/17 campaign, and Sobhi's exhilarating early displays suggest that he could have a key role to play in extending the Potters' eye-catching run of form.