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West Brom took chance on Hegazi, says coach Tony Pulis

Photo: West Bromwich Albion

West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Pulis revealed that he signed Ahmed Hegazi after watching him play with Egypt in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.

The 26-year-old defender joined the Premier League side on a one-year loan deal from Egyptian giants al Ahly during the summer transfer window.

The Egypt international defender had a spectacular start with West Brom as he scored the winner on his debut and was named Man of the Match in their league opener against Bournemouth on Saturday after producing a stellar defensive performance.

Speaking after West Brom’s 1-0 win against Bournemouth, Pulis admitted that he considered signing Hegazi’s Egypt international teammate.

“I watched two games in the Africa Cup of Nations. I liked the two Egyptian centre-halves, him and the lad alongside him,” Pulis said, in reference to Ali Gabr, who played alongside Hegazi throughout the AFCON, which saw the Pharaohs lose the final to Cameroon.

Pulis, however, opted to go for Al Ahly’s Hegazi as opposed to Zamalek’s Ali Gabr, saying: “We followed it up and found out he’d most probably be the best and we’ve taken a chance. Hopefully, it’ll be a chance that has come off.”

Hegazi: ‘A fantastic feeling’ to score winner on West Brom debut

When asked if signing the Egyptian defender was the bargain signing of the summer, Pulis said: “That’s our first game, come and see me after 30 games and I’ll tell you.”

However, the 59-year-old Welsh coach believes that Hegazi will continue to score if he kept his style of play.

“The quality coming in from Phillips and Brunt is first class and you need people who want to score. That’s what we have at this football club, players who are prepared to put themselves in positions to score goals. That’s why Dawson and McAuley score a lot of goals.”

“Hegazi will continue to do that if he wants to get in there and score,” he added.

West Brom’s next match is away against Burnley on August 19.

Read: Why Ahmed Hegazi is the Perfect Tony Pulis Defender

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