Zamalek Vice President Ahmed Galal Ibrahim announced on Tuesday that the club has reached an agreement with West Bromwich Albion FC over the transfer of the former’s defender Ali Gabr to the latter. The English Premier League club submitted an offer to sign the Egyptian center-back for €250,000, but Zamalek turned down the offer and requested €750,000. The Baggies raised their offer to €400,000 and finalised the transfer of Gabr on loan until the end of the season.
Zamalek’s vice president said that the team’s Head Coach Ehab Galal agreed to the transfer of Gabr based on the player’s desire to play outside Egypt. Galal praised Gabr’s loyalty and commitment to Zamalek since he moved to the Cairo giant, and described him as one of the team’s main players, wishing him all the best in the English Premier League.
Egyptian football fans were thrilled at the news of Gabr’s transfer to West Brom, which showed that Egyptian players have become the English Premier League clubs’ centre of attention thanks to their good performance.
Some Egyptians may wonder about the Baggies’ interest to sign Gabr, especially since he did not play very well in recent games. However, there are may reasons that prompted West Brom to contract with the Egyptian defender.
The value of Gabr’s deal
West Brom basically chose to sign Gabr because his price was affordable for the English club compared t English Premier League defenders whose prices increased significantly recently, such as Virgil van Dijk, who moved from Southampton to Liverpool for £75m to be the most expensive defender in the world.
The 29-year-old made 18 appearances for the Egyptian national team as he helped the Pharaohs reach the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations’ final match in Gabon, as well as qualifying for the first FIFA World Cup for Egypt since 1990.
Harmony with Ahmed Hegazi
Gabr played many games alongside West Brom’s Ahmed Hegazi in the Egyptian national team, which made the Baggies’ coaching staff ensures great harmony in the team’s defensive line. Moreover, Gabr has the same height as Hegazi which makes him a very good defender in the Premier League.
Expected transfer of Jonny Evans
Many press reports confirmed that Arsenal Manager Arsène Wenger is interested in signing West Brom’s defender and captain Jonny Evans. The Gunners needs a highly experienced player like Evans to lead the team’s defence.
Evans also has great experience in the Premier League, as he once played for Manchester United. Accordingly, if Evans moves to Arsenal, West Brom would inevitably need a new defender, and Gabr will be the best replacement.