Sunderland today announced they are to sign Ahmed Elmohamady on a permanent deal when the Egyptian internationals loan from ENPPI expires in the summer.
Steve Bruce told SAFC.com "Ahmed has been a pleasure to have around the place since he joined us. He's a great professional, has settled into the club and is keen to learn."
The boss added "He is adapting well to the unique demands of the Premier League and I'm certain there's still much more to come from him."
At The Roker Report we share Bruce's vision. Elmo's form has varied between sublime and ridiculous this season, but the times he has looked promising, he has looked very promising indeed. Whilst he's had critics on some websites, it's worth remembering he's still only 22, and his best years are yet to come.
The main problem for Bruce will be where to play Elmo. He's played both right-back and right-wing with varying results this season, and whilst he will remain a useful utility player for the remainder of the season, in the summer we should expect him to try and seal one of those positions as his own.
From our stand-point, the best position would be on the right of midfield in a 4-4-2 formation. Bruce seems keen to shift Jordan Henderson to the middle, leaving the right-wing up for grabs.
Elmo has all the attributes for the position too. He's pacy, athletic and has at times shown an excellent crossing ability. All that needs to be worked on there is consistency with his whipped balls in.
Of course he has a very good aerial ability, and hopefully we will see that more featured as he grows into his position at SAFC.
No word yet as to how long the contract will be, but it is strongly believed that the deal with ENPPI is worth £2.5m. At that price, he's a project well worth taking on.
Welcome to the club, Ahmed Elmohamady.