AHMED Elmohamady has set himself the target of adding goals to his game in the wake of his permanent move to Sunderland being confirmed, writes GRAEME ANDERSON.
The 23-year-old’s debut season at the Stadium of Light was a resounding success, though he failed to find the back of the net in any of the 38 appearances he made in all competitions for the Black Cats last season.
But that’s an area he plans to improve on over the course of the new three-year contract he signed this month as he looks forward to what he hopes will be a bright future on Wearside.
He told the Echo: “I have scored goals in Egypt for ENPPI and I have scored at international level, so I know I can score goals and it’s a disappointment to me that I have not scored any yet for Sunderland.
“It is something I am working on and I came close on a couple of occasions for Sunderland towards the end of the season.
“The manager wants me to add it to my game and in the last few months he was telling me to try and get in the box more.
“Hopefully it is something that I will improve on next season because we know how important it is for midfielders to score, it’s important not to leave it all up to the strikers.”
The completion of the deal is something Elmohamady is happy about after settling well on Wearside and relishing Premier League football.
“Other clubs were in for me in England, but I always wanted to stay at Sunderland.
“I am very happy here. It is a great club and the fans have been fantastic with me.”
The permanent move brings to an end a year-long loan from Cairo-based club ENPPI.
The original agreement included an option for Sunderland to buy him outright and the club decided to exercise that clause within months of the player’s arrival in England and his impressive performances both at right-back and, more regularly, on the right-wing.
He is the only one of Sunderland’s five loan signings from last season to sign permanently. with Manchester United’s Danny Welbeck, Lyon’s John Mensah, Inter Milan’s Sulley Muntari and Manchester City’s Nedum Onuoha all having returned to their parent clubs.