Lou Macari: Ramadan Sobhi shines light on our youth
Earlier in the week, the 19-year-old Stoke City starlet was hailed by his coach Mark Hughes following their match against West Ham in the English Premier League, saying that Sobhi delivered a “superb” performance.
Macari who is known for his disappointment in the development of young players, according to Stoke Sentinel, believes Sobhi is different from other youngsters, because he was “exposed to men’s football as a raw teenager.”
Macari believes that the FA, the Premier League and the clubs tend to direct their spending on facilities, without realising that the best facilities in the world won’t alone produce a footballer.
“Here’s a reminder that it’s not about facilities. No, it’s about keeping players hungry for success and blooding them at an early age with competitive men’s football to harden them up, physically and mentally,” the Sentinel columnist said.
The former Manchester United player believes that although the facilities Sobhi had in Egypt weren’t as good as those provided to youngsters in England, he still managed to prove himself.
“I bet Ramadan had to work for whatever he achieved back home in Egypt and, fingers crossed, that work ethic remains a natural for him for the rest of his career. Whatever riches he makes. You can be pretty sure that facilities back in Egypt weren’t as good as those our youngsters get in this country, but that doesn’t seem to have done him too much harm,” he added.
Macari understands that Sobhi still has a long way to go, but he is convinced that the early signs are good for the former Al Ahly player, who made six appearances for the Potters and assisted once against Swansea City.
“I’m not saying he’s tearing up trees already in the Premier League. We await to see exactly what the future holds, but the early signs are good, certainly when it comes to his attitude and his physical prowess, and that stands him in very good stead,” he added.
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