Stoke City got one for now and another for the future on Monday, announcing the purchase of Joe Allen from Liverpool and Ramadan Sobhi from Al Alhy.
Allen, 26, had been with the Reds since 2012 after more than a decade in the ranks of Swansea City. The midfielder helped Wales into the semifinals of EURO 2016.
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Swansea was linked with matching Stoke’s bid, but Allen moves onto a new home at the Britannia Stadium.
Chief Executive Tony Scholes said: “Joe is a player that Mark has admired for a considerable amount of time. Therefore when we became aware of the possibility of bringing him to the Club it was something that we were determined to do.
Sobhi, 19, is a lesser known entity full of promise. At 19, he already had six caps and a goal for Egypt, and has made 71 appearances with 17 goals for Al Alhy in the Egyptian Premier League.
The fee could reach $7 million with incentives.
“We are absolutely delighted to have signed a player of Ramadan’s undoubted quality and potential. He’s a special young talent who is excited about the prospect of making an impact in the Premier League and we’re looking forward to giving him that platform.”
Stoke has quietly been amassing assets for some time, and made a strong push last season before finishing ninth. If Allen can combine well with Giannelli Imbula, perhaps Stoke can continue its rise up the PL pecking order.