West Bromwich Albion have reportedly agreed to sign Egyptian defender Ahmed Hegazy. The six feet five defender will initially sign a one-year loan deal with the Baggies and if he manages to impress Tony Pulis, the club will have the option to make him a permanent signing for a minimal fee of €4m.
A loan fee of €1m needs to be paid to his club Al Ahly for his service. This will be his first spell in England and he is ready to make the stint a memorable one. Having played for Fiorentina earlier, he must have been aware of the stiff competition in the Serie A.
The Baggies were pondering over a loan move for Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma but Chelsea’s demand for an exorbitant £8m loan fee was out of their reach and they decided to cancel the move.
Hegazy might be new to the Premier League but he is aware of the European style of football. He spent close to 3 years at Fiorentina and then joined the Egyptian club on a free transfer.
Hegazy is due to undergo a medical and is expected to travel to England to finalise a move. Pulis is currently short of options in the defensive section as he has only two conventional centre backs in the squad.
Johny Evans has been one of the best defenders in the Premier League last season as West Brom maintained a pretty solid defensive setup throughout the season. Gareth McAuley had been pretty threatening from the set piece situations as he went on to score six times last season.
Hegazy impressed at the AFCON and also featured in the team of the tournament. If he signs for the Baggies, he is set to become the fourth Egyptian international in the Premier League after Mohamed Salah of Liverpool, Mohamed Elneny of Arsenal and Ramadan Sobhi of Stoke City.
The Baggies squad flew to Hong Kong to take part in the Premier League Asia Trophy but Hegazy didn’t travel with the team. It is not yet clear whether the 26-year-old will join the club in Hong Kong or will remain in England after completing the move.
He will be the second signing after the Baggies secured the signing of Jay Rodriguez from Southampton. Pulis would be looking for at least another defender.
Hegazy is expected to partner Evans in the centre of the Baggies backline and we could expect another top notch defensive performance from them.
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