Why Newcastle United Should Sign Ahmed Hegazi If Lascelles Leaves The Club This Summer
As the 2017/18 Premier League season draws to a close, the attention is turning towards the summer transfer window.
One piece of news that has been doing the rounds of late has been the potential exit of Newcastle United captain Jamaal Lascelles. The Englishman has been one of the Magpies’ best performers upon their return to the English top-flight this season and this has seen him get linked with a move to London giants Chelsea.
While manager Rafael Benitez has since quashed the rumours, a big offer from the Spaniard’s former employers is likely to get Newcastle thinking about a sale, while the player too would find it hard to turn down the chance to play for a club like Chelsea.
It may all be pure speculation at the moment but in case the Tynesiders end up losing their influential captain to the Blues ahead of next season, one man they should look to replace him with his West Bromwich Albion defender Ahmed Hegazi.
While the Baggies may have ended up biting the bullet in their battle for survival, Hegazi has been one of the few bright spots for the Midlands outfit in his debut campaign in England. Signed initially on loan from Egyptian outfit Al Ahly in the summer, the 27-year-old soon established himself as a defensive mainstay for West Brom under then manager Tony Pulis.
Having been impressed with his performances over the first half of the campaign, the Baggies duly signed him on a permanent deal at the turn of the year. The Egyptian international has managed to enhance his reputation with a series of solid displays at the back for West Brom.
Hegazi has featured 41 times across all competitions for the Baggies this term, scoring two goals in the process. His performances in recent victories against two top-six clubs – Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, and his excellent showing against Liverpool in December last year have particularly stood out.
Standing close to 6ft 4in tall, Hegazi cuts an imposing figure at the back and has shown that he can be a tough customer to beat in aerial duels. He has also demonstrated good situation-reading abilities at the back, averaging 1.6 interceptions and 2.1 tackles per ninety minutes he has been on the pitch.
He may not be the most gifted passer of the ball but Hegazi’s ability to stay focused and his vocal presence on the pitch is something that will benefit Newcastle immensely, especially if Lascelles ends up departing in the summer. With the Baggies getting relegated, it shouldn’t prove to be too hard to convince the player to move as well.