West Brom will begin the new Championship season without one of their most influential defenders as Ahmed Hegazi successfully underwent surgery to repair a long-term ankle problem. The news has left many at the Hawthorns feeling rather bittersweet.
The 28-year-old had been nursing the injury since the end of last season and fought through the pain to feature for his national side, Egypt, at this summer’s Africa Cup of Nations. Despite the issue being manageable, Hegazi opted for surgery after speaking to the club’s medical staff upon returning to England this week. With the season just a fraction over a week away, the chances that the centre-back features is rather unlikely.
Many of The Baggies support took to Twitter to share their thoughts – one stated it that it will be a massive loss but it’s probably right the issue is sorted now, rather than deeper into the season. This was echoed by another fan who said it was good news in the long run.
Hegazi made 43 appearances last season as the club were defeated in the playoffs by eventual winners and West Midlands rivals Aston Villa. The Egypt international originally joined the club on loan during their Premier League relegation season but the club exercised an option to sign him permanently at the very first opportunity.
Other fans said Hegazi would be like a new signing upon his return to the first-team whilst another supporter said he was looking forward to him being a rock at the back for them again this upcoming campaign.
You can read the reaction from a number of West Brom fans below:
Will be a big loss, but what it might do is give O'Shea/Fitzwater a chance in the League and early cup games to show what they're made of.
— Hamza Darby (@hamzadarby) July 24, 2019
MASSIVE loss we’ll miss him! But Prob best gets it sorted now than have issues deeper into the season
— Richard stevens (@Richstevens_) July 24, 2019
For the better this injury could’ve become something worse
— Lewis_WBA 16 (@lewistrexedge) July 24, 2019
Happy that Hegazi has had surgery to solve his ongoing injury, but he was struggling with it when we played the FFP fudgers. So why was he allowed to carry on to play in the African Nations?
— M (@Disgorger) July 24, 2019
An injury that is somehow good news. Look forward to him being a rock for us once again this season
— Colm Brosnan (@ColmBrosnan) July 24, 2019
Good news in the long run
— Daniel Tudge (@DanJTudge) July 24, 2019
Sensible and we can plan for it
— Jak⚽️???????? ???????? (@jaksoi67) July 24, 2019
That will teach him to kick bloody walls when subbed ????
Common sense for him to have it done. Will feel like a new signing when he’s back
— James Downing (@jimmythewhack) July 24, 2019