Steve Bruce: I have watched Ahmed Elmohamady grow
Steve Bruce has signed Ahmed Elmohamady three times, so it is no surprise to hear the right-back called a ‘manager’s dream’.
But the Villa boss has also revealed how he has seen the 30-year-old Egyptian grow up since he first brought him to England seven years ago.
Elmohamady has gone on to play under Bruce at Sunderland, Hull and Villa – and has come a long way under his boss.
“He has gone from single and shy, couldn’t speak a word of English, to married, two kids,” said Bruce. “I have seen him grow up. He is a delight, a manager’s dream.”
As well as watching him grow off the pitch, Bruce has been thrilled by Elmohamady’s contribution on it.
Since being reunited with Bruce in the summer for around £1million, he has started 10 matches, bringing an added attacking dimension to the team.
“He gives you an option going forward,” said Bruce. “He has great delivery.
“Keinan’s goals at Barnsley and Burton were typical. I have seen him do that so regularly. That is why I have always bought him.
“The one thing about Elmo is he trains every day, doesn’t go in the gym.
“In seven or eight years I cannot remember him missing a match.
“He trains every day as if it is his last. He is a great pro.
“I brought him over when he was 22, he’s 30 now. In all that time I can count on the fingers of one hand how many days training he has missed.”