Ali Gabr has signed for West Brom on an initial six month loan deal. The 29-year-old dubbed ‘The Minister of Defence’ by fans at former club Zamalek is Albion’s first January deal. The loan move will cost West Brom around £438,000 with a view to a permanent in the summer. If the Baggies choose to make the switch permanent, it will cost them just £1.5m.
West Brom Sign Ali Gabr
Ali Gabr will join fellow countryman Ahmed Hegazi at the Hawthorns. West Brom signed Hegazi in the summer, also initially on loan, before making the deal permanent just months later. Since his transfer, Hegazi has started every Premier League game this season, scoring once.
Gabr and Hegazi formed a solid partnership at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations. The centre-back pairing helped guide Egypt to the final but finished eventual runners up conceding just three goals, two in the final. Their main focus will be the Baggies’ Premier League survival as they are currently joint bottom with Swansea. With the pair heading to Russia in the summer this deal would also be beneficial to Egypt’s World Cup aspirations. Getting a good run up to the tournament, testing their partnership against high quality opposition.
Jonny Evans Exit
The arrival of Ali Gabr will now free up a move for Albion captain Jonny Evans. The defender is still attracting interest from Arsenal and Manchester City and is expected to leave for around £23m before the window closes. Evans still has 18 months left on his current contract but with no desire to commit his future to West Brom, they are looking to cash in.
It is also believed that a clause in Evans’ contract could see him leave the Hawthorns for as little as £3m in the summer if Albion are relegated. West Brom boss Alan Pardew was clear that Evans would not leave if no replacement was found. Now that Ali Gabr has signed for West Brom, the exit door is open.