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Playing for Egypt will benefit Ahmed Hegazi, says WBA assistant manager

Playing for Egypt will benefit Ahmed Hegazi, says WBA assistant manager

Photo: Robert Hradil/Getty Images

West Brom assistant manager Graeme Jones believes that international football with Egypt will help defender improve.

Ahmed Hegazi is the only player in West Brom’s squad away on senior international duty this month, featuring in the Pharaohs’ big victory over Niger.

The 27-year-old has partnered Ali Ghazal and Baher Elmohamady in the heart of the Pharaohs’ three-man defence and has helped them pick their first three points in the 2019 AFCON qualifiers.

And Jones, who was part of Roberto Martinez’s backroom staff that helped Belgium finish third in the World Cup, says that Hegazi playing for Egypt has more benefits than harm.

“Ahmed has got better and better every game. He has dropped into a back three and he’s got a greater understanding (of that role),” Graeme Jones said.

Photo: Lynne Cameron/Getty Images

“You know that’s coming about because of international football so there can be real benefits.

“Belgium played against Egypt on June 6 and for him to play against that level of player with Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne all on the pitch has helped him.

“I’ve got a greater appreciation for it [international football] now, I used to see it as an absolute nuisance,” he added.

Hegazi is a crucial part of West Brom’s starting XI, starting all seven of the club’s league games this season, assisting once in the Baggies 4-3 win over Norwich City.

He is expected to be available for the derby against Birmingham City, which will take place on Friday, September 14 at St Andrew’s.

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