AHMED Elmohamady hopes he has done enough to secure his long-term future at Sunderland.
Elmohamady has 11 games left of his season-long loan spell from Egyptian outfit ENPPI before Steve Bruce decides whether to convert the 23-year-old’s move into a permanent switch.
A fee of around £2.5million was agreed between the two clubs prior to the Egyptian international moving to Wearside, with Sunderland benefiting from the option of first refusal on the right winger.
Despite Elmohamady losing his starting spot from a dip in form over the last month, Bruce is still expected to keep hold of the player, who has made 27 appearances in his maiden season at the Stadium of Light.
Elmohamady hopes that is case and believes he will be a better player after a year adjusting to the rigours of the Premier League.
He told the Echo: “I like everything here – the people and the players – and I hope I can sign a new contract in the summer.
“I think I’ll be a better player here next season here, too, with more games. I’ll have learned a lot by then.
“I’ve had a great time here at Sunderland. There’s been no problems, everything here is perfect.
“The football is very different to how it is in Egypt.
“The Premier League is the best league in the world. It’s quick and strong.”
Elmohamady’s team-mates jetted across the globe last week after being handed some time off by Bruce.
But the Egyptian rested up on Wearside rather than returning to the unrest in his homeland, although his family are not based in Cairo and have not been affected by the troubles.
He was able to watch Everton’s televised FA Cup fourth round victory over Chelsea and expects a tough task when Sunderland travel to Goodison Park on Saturday.
“I stayed here last week rather than going back home to Egypt because of all the troubles there,”added Elmohamady.
“My family are OK. They don’t live in Cairo.
“I just rested for a week which was important after moving to a new country.
“Now we’ve started working hard again for Saturday.
“It’s a big game against Everton after a good match here when it was 2-2. It will be a hard game.
“I watched them against Chelsea and they have got good players.
“Leighton Baines is good at left-back and I played against Tim Cahill at international level two months ago when he was playing for Australia.
“He is fantastic in the air.”