Slaven Bilic’s West Brom are at the top of the Championship and currently sit in the driver’s seat in the race for Premier League promotion. It’s a long road, though, and it won’t be easy to maintain top spot, but having Ahmed Hegazi back in the side and fit is a huge boost.
The Egyptian centre-back made just his first start of the season against Sheffield Wednesday on the weekend, starting in a back-four alongside Kyle Bartley as his centre-back partner and allowing Semi Ajayi to step into a defensive midfield role as opposed to playing at the back.
Hegazi was sublime in his first Championship start too. The 28-year-old’s numbers were certainly impressive. In his 74 minutes on the pitch, he managed one tackle, one interception, two clearances and two blocks defensively, whilst also attempting 39 passes with a success rate of 89.7%, including three long balls (WhoScored).
Those numbers speak for themselves. The experienced centre-half is one of the best in the Championship when he’s playing his very best football and if he can string together some good performances now he’s returned it will have come at the perfect time.
The festive period sees games come thick and fast, and with fewer days to recover between games the risk of injury grows. With that being said, having another member of the squad back, fit and playing is a massive boost. The added rotation and depth it provides Slaven Bilic with could be crucial, and now just in defence seeing as it frees up Ajayi to play in midfield.
Things are really looking up for the Baggies, and should they continue this rich vein of form and keep the majority of their players injury-free then there’s no reason why they can’t assert themselves as clear favourites for the Championship this season, and that task is made a lot easier by having Hegazi at the heart of the defence.