When Egypt took on Uruguay in the World Cup recently it was a game West Brom fans watched with interest.
The player they were keeping eyes on was Egypt centre-back Ahmed Hegazi. He is of course still a Baggies player, although has been linked with an exit after the club’s relegation.
However, alongside him in the heart of the Egypt defence was another player who should interest the club, Ali Gabr.
The 29-year-old was signed on loan in January to add strength to the West Brom defence. However, with the Baggies struggling to survive he was not given a chance in the first-team.
Gabr instead played just two games for the club’s under-23s. His first appearance was in a 2-0 defeat against Norwich City before he was given the runaround by Swedish striker Viktor Gyorkes in a 5-1 loss against Brighton.
West Brom will not be keeping him, based on his performances at the club.
The Express and Star reported this month that a £1.1 million option to sign him permanently had passed and he would be returning to Egypt.
But his performance against Uruguay suggested he deserved better. Gabr looked strong and solid defensively and was also impressive with the ball at his feet.
It certainly looked like the form of a player who could be effective in the Championship, especially with Jonny Evans leaving and Craig Dawson and Hegazi wanted.
West Brom cannot be blamed for deciding not to throw Gabr in last season and, it is hard to suggest he might have helped them stay in the Premier League. But based on his performance against Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez last week he might have been able to help them return.