West Bromwich’s in-form defender Ahmed Hegazi said on Friday he believes England is the best place to play football after penning a permanent deal with the Premier League side.
The towering central defender initially joined West Brom from Egyptian giants Ahly on a season-long loan last summer but the club opted to make his deal permanent almost halfway through the season, thanks to a series of impressive displays in the heart of the team’s backline.
He signed a four-and-a-half year contract at The Hawthorns on Monday, with West Brom exercising an option to buy him for a reported fee of five million euros.
“I’m very happy at the club and I’m very happy in the group, inside the dressing room and outside I think it’s a very good group for me and for everybody,” Hegazi said in an interview with West Brom’s official website on Friday.
“Here there is a high level and in Italy was very high level but I think here is the best place to play football,” the former Fiorentina man added.
West Brom are trying to arrest a poor run of results that saw them slip to second from bottom in the table with 14 points from 18 games, two behind Saturday’s opponents Stoke City, who lie 17th in the safety zone.
“Stoke is a massive game for us and for them. Both teams are under pressure. We must get more points and every game we play this season will be a massive game for us,” Hegazi said.
“We must give all that we have to help the club win the game. I really hope we get three points.
“For sure, every derby is important for the fans but for us every game is a derby. We must play well against everyone.”
The 26-year-old has started all of West Brom’s Premier League games so far this season, scoring once in the opening 1-0 victory over Bournemouth.
(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)