There are some footballers who certain coaches just fancy, and it would very much appear that veteran right back Ahmed Elmohamady fits that bill for Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce.
He’s had him at Sunderland, Hull City and Aston Villa, and now it seems as if the former Sheffield Wednesday chief wants to bring the Egyptian international to St James’ Park, as well.
The Sun reported on Saturday that Bruce is preparing to fight the Toon hierarchy in order to bring the 31-year-old to the club, with the Magpies’ transfer team, led by managing director Lee Charnley, wanting a younger right back option instead.
You can see why the club would want to go with youth at the position instead, with the Egyptian surely past his best and merely a favourite of Bruce’s as opposed to a top drawer Premier League player.
Because of that, the Newcastle fans are probably baffled at the coach’s desire to bring a veteran player like this to Tyneside, and they are likely on Charnley’s side on this one – a phrase not often used in these parts.
The thing is, Elmohamady isn’t even an upgrade on two players who largely disappointed at right back for Newcastle last season. The statistics, when you look at them, appear to indicate that the Villa man is too vulnerable defensively to be a success at St James’.
As per WhoScored.com, the only major defensive statistical category that Elmohamady led DeAndre Yedlin and Javier Manquillo in last season was in the number of fouls he committed per game.
In things likes tackles, interceptions, clearances and blocks per league outing, the veteran simply wasn’t at the top of the pile. In fact, he was dead last in all those categories except blocks, where he was second behind Yedlin.
Clearly, then, this is a move that would come down somewhere almost in the nepotism region. Bruce and Elmohamady aren’t related – obviously – but this is clearly a deal he wouldn’t push for if he hadn’t worked with the Egyptian already. Either way, it’s one that reeks of disaster.