Aston Villa Opinion: Why the Villans should go all out to sign Ahmed Hegazi?
According to a report from Express and Star, Premier League newcomers Aston Villa are interested in West Brom defender Ahmed Hegazi.
The Egypt international, 28, has been a regular for West Brom since joining from Egyptian side Al Ahly in 2017, with him making 85 appearances during his two seasons at the Hawthorns.
He impressed in the Championship last season, guiding the Baggies to the play-off semi-finals, only to taste defeat at the hands of local rivals Aston Villa.
West Brom have already lost Craig Dawson to Premier League side Watford, so new boss Slaven Bilic will be desperate to keep hold of Hegazi, who is under contract with the club until 2022. With that in mind, the Villans must table a tempting offer for the Baggies to consider selling their star defender.
Aston Villa completed the permanent signing of Tyrone Mings from Bournemouth on Monday, after he impressed on loan last season.
He is Villa’s sixth signing of the summer and his transfer follows deals for Kortney Hause and Anwar El Ghazi, who were both also on loan at the club last season, as well as Matt Targett from Southampton, Wesley Moraes from Club Brugge and Jota from Birmingham City.
Interest in Hegazi perhaps suggests Dean Smith is still not satisfied with his defensive options and wants to strengthen further.
With Axel Tuanzebe having returned to Manchester United following the end of his loan, Hegazi could be the perfect player to replace the young Congolese at the heart of Villa defence next season.
Hegazi should not be the most exciting addition the Lions make this summer. But he may well prove to be one of the shrewdest signings Smith secures in a bid to add strength to his defensive department.
The Egyptian was an ever-present for West Brom in the Championship this past season, impressing with his no-nonsense and tough-tackling approach.
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The 28-year-old is strong in the air, robust in the challenge and a good reader of the game, someone who would seamlessly slot into Villa’s central defence alongside Mings.
Pairing up Mings and Hause won’t make sense as both are left-footed, so Hegazi would give balance to the Villa backline and make it tough for the opposition to unlock.
Hegazi has been one of West Brom’s most reliable defenders over the past two seasons and he’ll represent a massive signing for Villa if Smith manages to thrash out a deal with their local rivals.