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Playing with Egypt makes Hegazi better, says West Brom coach

Karim Farouk , Monday 10 Sep 2018
Egypt
Egypt's Ahmed Hegazy (Reuters)
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West Bromwich assistant coach Graeme Jones believes international games are helping Egypt defender Ahmed Hegazi improve and develop.

The 27-year old defender has put on another solid performance helping the Pharaohs crush Niger 6-0 on Saturday in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

“Ahmed has gotten better and better every game. He has dropped into a back three and he’s got a greater understanding (of that role). You know that’s coming about because of international football so there can be real benefits,” Jones was quoted as saying on the Express & Star on Monday.

Hegazi was one of West Bromwich’s few bright points last season as the team was relegated.

Coach Darren Moore, who took over the Baggies last May, has opted for a new scheme relying on three defenders at the back.

Hegazi has adapted well in the new system.

Jones thinks that playing on a high level and facing top quality opponents is giving him a great experience.

“Belgium played against Egypt on June 6 and for him to play against that level of player with Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne all on the pitch has helped him,” said Jones who was an assistant trainer to Belgium’s coach Roberto Martinez back then.

“I’ve got a greater appreciation for it [international football] now, I used to see it as an absolute nuisance,” he concluded.

Hegazi is back in England and is expected to feature against Birmingham City on Friday.

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