AHMED Elmohamady admits he may to leave Sunderland this summer after struggling to feature in Martin O’Neill’s plans.
Elmohamady has played a total of just 35 minutes of first-team football under Black Cats boss O’Neill after being a regular under predecessor Steve Bruce.
The 24-year-old is one of those who may feature in Sunderland’s final four games after O’Neill indicated his intention to hand a chance to those fringe players who have barely been involved during his stewardship.
However, after returning to Wearside following a week in Dubai with the Egypt squad – playing in friendlies against Angola, Nigeria and Iraq – Elmohamady says he is considering his future at the Stadium of Light less than 12 months after completing a £2.5million switch.
Elmohamady said: “I spoke with O’Neill before I joined Egypt’s training camp in the UAE and he promised to give me chances to play in the remaining league games.
“Things will be clearer afterwards regarding my future with the team.
“I’m considering leaving the club, but I haven’t taken a final decision yet.
“Maybe I can win a place in the team before the end of the season.
“If the situation continues as it is now I will leave because I am looking to play and not sit on the bench because it would have a negative impact on my game.”
Elmohamady initially arrived at Sunderland on a season-long loan from Egyptian club ENPPI before Bruce converted the move into a permanent deal last summer.
The right winger made 35 starts under Bruce, but is yet to feature in the first XI under O’Neill.
“I was in the starting line-up early in the season, as was the case last season, but the team’s results fell away significantly and the club hired a new coach,” said Elmohamady, who is Stephane Sessegnon’s closest ally in the Black Cats camp.
“He made several changes and I was one of the players O’Neill left out of the team.
“Results have improved significantly, so he has the right to stick with a team which is achieving good results.
“O’Neill is a good coach at the technical level and a decent human being on a personal level and there are no problems between us.
“It’s all just opinions on the art (of football). I’m not angry with him for leaving me out of games.
“It’s his right to maintain a team which is achieving good results and it’s my job to do my best to regain my place in the squad, but I don’t expect many changes to the team.”
If Elmohamady does leave the Stadium of Light, he is unlikely to return to his homeland, despite interest from Egyptian champions Ahly.
“Ahly haven’t made any approaches to sign me from Sunderland,” he added.
“I respect Ahly but I intend to stay in Europe as long as possible. I have no intention of returning to Egypt.
“I want to continue my career in England because the league is fun and having got used to playing in the Premier League, it would be difficult to leave and play elsewhere.”