OFFICIAL: Ali Gabr joins West Bromwich Albion on loan
The 29-year-old will join Ahmed Hegazi as they become the first-ever Egyptian center-back duo to play together on the same team in the English Premier League.
KingFut first broke West Brom’s interest in Gabr just over a week ago after the club had sent a starting offer for the player, which was rejected by Zamalek as they held on for a higher fee.
However, both clubs reached an agreement that will see the Africa Cup of Nations finalist join the Baggies on a six-month loan deal worth €500,000 with a €2.5 million option to buy at the end of the season with Zamalek retaining a 10% sell-on clause.
The club seemingly grew fond of Egyptian defenders after the success of Ahmed Hegazi since arriving last summer on loan from Al Ahly, with the management exercising their option to buy a few weeks ago despite having that option until the end of this season.
Gabr, who will wear the number 16 shirt, has revealed his delight at joining the Baggies, saying: “I’m here to help the team and do my job. I’m very happy and excited to be here.”
The former Ismaily and Ittihad of Alexandria defender could make his debut on Wednesday, when West Brom travel to face league leaders Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
🎥 A message from @Hegazi…
— West Bromwich Albion (@WBA) January 29, 2018
News of the signing has been welcomed by Technical Director Nick Hammond, who said they followed Gabr since the African Cup of Nations.
“He’s a player that we first identified at the African Cup of Nations where he played alongside Ahmed,” Hammond said.
“We’ve continued to follow his progress since then and saw a good opportunity to do a deal in this window.
“The structure is the same as for Ahmed – it’s a well-structured deal for the club. Ali is strong, dominant in the air and he’s got good pace as well. This is a great opportunity for him and we’re delighted to have him here,” he added.
Gabr made 18 appearances for the Egyptian national team as he helped the Pharaohs reach the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, reach the final of the competition in Gabon and qualify to the first FIFA World Cup for Egypt since 1990.
The Baggies are currently 19th in the Premier League with 20 points and have qualified for the fifth round of the FA Cup after eliminating Mohamed Salah’s Liverpool.
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