West Bromwich Albion Targeting Egyptian Centre-Back: Can He Replicate Hegazi’s Success?

According to a recent report by The Birmingham Mail, West Bromwich Albion have put Egyptian international, Ali Gabr, on their radar as a replacement for Jonny Evans, who has been linked with the likes of Arsenal and Manchester City this month. Albion are keen on a six-month loan deal, with an option of making a permanent move to the Hawthorns in the summer for £2million.

Interestingly, Gabr is the international teammate of West Bromwich Albion defender, Ahmed Hegazi, and Alan Pardew is understood to be an admirer of both of them. Hegazi has been an integral part of the defence of the Baggies this season, having started 23 Premier League games and thus, Pardew’s keenness to make Gabr sign on the dotted line means that he might be looking to play the two Egyptians together at the back.

Gabr’s youth career was spent at Ismaily SC and he was then promoted to their senior side. Then he moved to Al Ittihad Alexandria and in the summer of 2014, he was lured to the ranks of Zamalek. The 29-year-old has been a huge asset for the Egyptian Premier League outfit over the past three years, for he has been quite a productive player.

He has helped the White Knights to a league title, a cup double and one Egyptian Super Cup and given that they are currently placed at the 4th spot in the Egyptian Premier League table, behind Al Ahly, Ismaily and Al Masry, they are reported to be willing to sell Gabr only for the right price and with regard to the interest from the Throstles, they have slapped a loan fee of £750,000.

West Bromwich Albion are currently placed at the penultimate spot in the Premier League table and have collected merely 19 points from 23 league games so far. To find themselves in a better position and ideally out of the relegation zone, they really need to up the ante from here onwards and beef up the quality of their arsenal adequately for the second-half of the season.

Evans’ exit from the club has the potential to weaken their backline substantially and it would be a wise move from Pardew to take precautionary measures for the betterment of the club. Gabr is more than a decent centre-back, and given that he has plenty of experience under his belt, he might be able to inject the requisite resilience to the backline of Albion in the coming months if the deal materialises.

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