West Brom lose key figure ahead of Huddersfield clash as striker makes transfer admission
Centre-back Hegazi hasn’t kicked a ball for Albion since the play-off campaign in May, but is on the verge of providing Slaven Bilic with a headache when he is finally deemed ready for selection.
The Egyptian, who underwent ankle surgery before the season started, is missing only match fitness, Bilic claims.
Having seen him midweek for the first time as Albion boss in a match situation, Bilic was left impressed by what he saw from Hegazi.
Elsewhere, Kieran Gibbs will be checked on late when Huddersfield Town visit The Hawthorns on Sunday.
Conor Townsend is Albion’s only certain absentee.
Slav’s Huddersfield warning
Any suggestions that West Brom will be approaching the visit of Huddersfield with even an ounce of complacency have been quashed by Slaven Bilic.
The Terriers’ problems have been well documented; winless in 18, they’ve posted a single victory this calendar year and new boss Danny Cowley has it all to do to lift the club away from the perils of the relegation zone – and, potentially, successive drops down the league ladder.
Albion, on the other hand, are unbeaten in the Championship under Bilic, and are in fact the only team left in the entire division to boast such a record, but Bilic has assured supporters that the Baggies will not be taking their Yorkshire visitors lightly in any way when they arrive at The Hawthorns on Sunday morning.
Burke on Alaves move
Oliver Burke will be learning Spanish as he looks to make the most of his year-long stay with Deportivo Alaves.
The West Brom winger, who made the move to the La Liga outfit on a season-long loan prior to the European transfer deadline passing, made his debut at the weekend when he was handed a run-out from half-time against Sevilla.
The consensus from the Alaves fans appeared to be that Burke showed flashes of ability and pace, though they accepted that he needed time to continue his bedding in period.
That’s something that the Scotland international agrees with.
Burke, relishing the opportunity of playing in what he considers to be the world’s best league, feels he is slowly getting up to speed with his new role and new surroundings.
“I feel I am getting more involved with the squad little by little. Obviously, the language is a barrier for me at the moment, but I will learn it,” Burke told the Daily Record.
West Bromwich Albion have expressed their disappointment at losing Michael Appleton so quickly – and pledged to appoint a replacement quickly.
Appleton was appointed as manager of League One side Lincoln City on Friday having only returned The Hawthorns at the end of last season to assist Jimmy Shan for the run-in.
He was kept on as Under-23s coach with the Baggies for this term but has now put pen to paper on a three-year deal with the Imps.
Albion’s sporting and technical director Luke Dowling said: “We are obviously disappointed to be losing a coach of Michael’s calibre so soon after his appointment and having discussed at length our plans for the development of our young players in the future.
“But he felt he could not refuse the opportunity to return to League management and we reluctantly accept that. We shall be looking to announce a replacement as quickly as possible.”
Joe Chapman will be covering West Bromwich Albion and providing a regular supply of varied content for the 2019-20 season, as Slaven Bilic looks to guide the club back to the Premier League.
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It’s early days, but things have begun promisingly for Saido Berahino in Belgium.
The ex- West Brom forward arrived at a club who hadn’t scored a goal and were comprehensively beaten in their first two league games of the season.
Five matches later, though, Berahino has influence 11 points from a possible 15 and has contributed three goals himself.
It’s the form of a player in desperate need of a spark to revive a career in serious danger of being brought to a premature end, after a miserable spell at Stoke City followed an acrimonious end to the Burundi forward’s time at The Hawthorns.
There were happier times for Berahino, of course; his 20 league and cup goals under Alan Irvine and then Tony Pulis in 2014-15 thrust him into the international limelight, but when Albion knocked back a transfer offer from top six side Tottenham and the miserly Daniel Levy on 2015 transfer deadline day, that’s where Berahino’s career took a turn for the worse.
By his own admission Berahino took the news that he’d be staying put particularly badly, but he reckons only now – out in the Belgian Pro League – can he focus on the future rather than the past.