Date: 5th August 2019 at 4:13pm
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This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…

According to TEAMtalk, West Brom are one of the several Championship clubs chasing Tottenham Hotspur defender Cameron Carter-Vickers on a loan deal – though, they face tough competition from Leeds United, Fulham, Derby County and Middlesborough amongst others.

What’s the word?

The new Championship got underway this weekend and Slaven Bilic got off to the perfect start as new Baggies boss by recording a 2-1 victory over Midlands rivals Nottingham Forest.

Despite the victory, the Croatian reportedly wants four more new additions before the window slams shut on Thursday evening.

Bilic believes they have only done half their business this summer stating the need for quantity and quality – one of those needs appears to be in attack whilst links to both Carter-Vickers and a return for Mason Holgate suggests that all is not done in the defensive department.

On Saturday evening, Kyle Bartley partnered summer signing Semi Ajayi in the heart of defence with young prospect Dara O’Shea the only option at centre-back available on the bench.

Ahmed Hegazi’s time running out at the Hawthorns?

Ahmed Hegazi was a notable absentee as West Brom kickstarted their season with a win but that was down to injury after the Egypt international underwent ankle surgery.

Last season, he made 49 appearances for club and country whilst playing on the injury which was described as manageable but with the number of games Hegazi played, surgery was ultimately required to resolve the issue.

He is not expected to be back until mid-September at the earliest.

Bilic’s potential move for Carter-Vickers could suggest that he feels more strength in depth is required in central defence with Hegazi facing a spell on the sidelines plus he currently only has two senior options in that position at his disposal.

Carter-Vickers has been training amongst Mauricio Pochettino’s first-team but it seems likely another loan spell is on the cards having been sent out to the Championship three times now – Sheffield United, Ipswich Town and last season, Swansea City.

Hegazi may fall victim if a potential partnership begins to develop between Bartley and Ajayi, or if Carter-Vickers does join on loan and makes a substantial impact – it will be hard for the 28-year-old to cement his place back in the side as the aforementioned names, in theory, would have no reason to be dropped.

The 21-year-old already plays for his national side, the United States of America, so it isn’t out of the realms of possibility that the youngster can come in and make a far greater impact than Hegazi would. In some defensive facets last season, he actually rated out better.

The young defender’s passing success rate was higher than Hegazi’s (76.9%) at 91.6% whilst he averaged better for interceptions per game at 1.2 compared to Hegazi’s 0.9 per game. Carter-Vickers also was more of a resolute option as he was harder to dribble past, only allowing an average of 0.1 per game whereas the Egypt international averaged 0.4.

Over the course of the summer, the Egyptian has been linked to a number of other clubs most notably Premier League newcomers Aston Villa who manager Dean Smith scouted at the Africa Cup of Nations alongside their new signing and fellow countryman Trezeguet.

Al Ahli in the Saudi Pro League were also keen on taking Hegazi but reports back then suggested a deal was close to falling through for financial reasons.

If the 28-year-old isn’t able to break his way back into the Baggies starting line-up then those moves could easily resurface come January. The Saudi Pro League’s transfer window runs to the end of the month so that could be one to keep an eye on.

 

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