West Brom manager’s future is reportedly said to be in doubt over latest controversy coming out of The Hawthorns this week.
Slaven Bilic is fuming with West Brom chiefs according to several media outlets after Ahmed Hegazi was sold behind his back.
The key centre-back was flogged by the Baggies just 24 hours before their must-win game against Brighton, causing anger with the Croatian boss.
The Egyptian international, who played 90 minutes in the draw with Burnley just last week, has moved to Saudi Arabia in a deal that banked West Brom £4million and saved another £3.5m-a-year in wages, big blow if West Brom want to survive the drop this season.
Bilic’s side, who sit 17th place in the Premier League table, travel to the AMEX Stadium on Monday night looking to pick up their first win of the season.
But that task has just been made much harder after finding out that Hegazi, who was expected to remain in the team – ended up leaving without the boss knowing anything about his exit.
We can confirm Ahmed Hegazi has left to join Saudi Arabian side @ittihad.
Wishing you all the very best for the future, @Hegazi 👊
— West Bromwich Albion (@WBA) October 26, 2020
The Mirror state that the board thought felt that having already signed up Branislav Ivanovic and Cedric Kipre, and with last season’s first-choice duo Kyle Bartley and Semi Ajayi still under contract at the club, plus Dara O’Shea, it was best to let Hegazi leave.
He was a back up in the Championship last season, playing just 14 times, and was also keen to move as he is increasing his current £70,000-a-week deal.
Fellow new boys Leeds have spent almost £100million on the likes of record signing Rodrigo, German international Robin Koch, Spanish defender Diego Llorente and Brazilian winger Raphinha to boost their squad after promotion. They now sit fifth with 10 points from their opening six games.
West Brom have just two points from a possible 15 so far. Grant was their ninth capture of the summer, though really he was one of just four permanent new faces to come in at the Baggies when you include the likes of Cedric Kipre, verteran Branislav Ivanovic and back-up goalkeeper David Button.
They also brought in Chelsea youngster Conor Gallagher on loan though is relatively unproven in top flight, while £18m rated Grady Diagana, £12m signing Matheus Pereira, Callum Robinson and returning Benfica loanee Filip Krovinovic also played for Bilic last season.
It is believed that Bilic had to fight internally to force through the return of Krovinovic in a season-long loan deal from Benfica.
As such the delay meant that the playmaker missed the first three games of the season, so it really does frustrating for the boss behind the scenes at The Hawthorns.
The former West Ham manager came into the club and saw departures of three key forwards in Salomon Rondon, who had been on loan at Newcastle, before moving out to China, while Dwight Gayle and Jay Rodriguez – who had contributed a combined 46 league goals between them in 2018/19 – also played havoc with Bilic’s options.
Things could be worse though, Burnley, who sit directly below them in the relegation zone, have struggled to buy any player at all in the summer window, causing anger from manager Sean Dyche who might have no choice but to leave as they fail to meet his demands of improving the squad to get them higher up the table.
The club’s technical and sporting director Luke Dowling presided over the combined £12m outlay on Kenneth Zohore and Charlie Austin to replace them and help them to promotion – yet Bilic preferred to go with Hal Robson-Kanu as his centre-forward.
Zohore and Austin managed just 13 league goals between them in the previous campaign. Now Zohore is at Millwall on loan, while Austin appears destined to leave in January after failing to secure a Deadline Day departure yet he reportedly seemed happy to stay.
Robson-Kanu is now unable to play as he sits out on the sidelines due to a broken arm, meaning that Bilic has no choice but to fast track Grant into the team and quickly gel to prevent picking up any more defeats.
He managed just 60 minutes before being subbed off in last Monday’s encounter against the Clarets, having spent around two months training with Huddersfield’s reserves.
Now, in his latest act of business, Dowling took to seal Hegazi’s deal to the Middle East which is initially just a loan and banks Albion just £2m up front.
Bilic and his team face a tough battle to improve form and because of Dowling’s actions, it’s now left the Albion boss threatening on departing according to sources.
Fans reacted after learning that West Brom manager’s future is in doubt over the latest controversy…
It’s alright folks, it’s a Newcastle fan, take it with a pinch of salt.
— Paul Chappell (@WanchopePaulo) October 26, 2020
Sort of seen it coming tbh listening to a lot of things being said lately, every where he’s been he’s had the backing and it’s why he’s done well, at Albion he hasn’t and covid ain’t helped so it’s up hill from here 😬
— Josh Evitts (@Evitts7) October 26, 2020
To be fair he was injured at the start of last season whilst Ajayi and Bartley formed a decent Championship partnering. When AH came back he didn’t get a look in for ages and wasn’t match fit. After lockdown I would argue that he was one of our best players.
— John Kelleher (@jk031176) October 26, 2020
Mark Hughes rubbing his hands in anticipation!
— Paul Moran (@MD_Leeds) October 26, 2020
Clubs really don’t help themselves do they?.
— Steve Calvert (@SteveCa07840280) October 26, 2020
Sorry but if Bilić walks over this then it says more about him than it does the club.
Get on with it, do the best with what you’ve got and the fans will support you 100%
I have my doubts this was all done behind his back- he may not of wanted it to happen but he knew I’m sure.
— stuart walton (@stuwolwalton) October 26, 2020
Our fans have an obsession with the idea of Bilic walking from the club. It was said last summer when 1 player had been signed, it was said this summer when barely any players were signed & now it’s being said because Hegazi has been sold.
— Ryan (@RyanPGlasgow) October 26, 2020
If Bilic walks, im joining him.
— Ben Hadlington (@Benhadlington1) October 26, 2020
If Bilic walks because of the Hegazi sale, I would question the motives given he hardly played him last season and involved once this season. He clearly didn’t think too highly of the bloke.
— Rich Jeff (@richbaggie) October 26, 2020
Get on with it Bilic, you barely bothered picking Hegazi when he was fit and available anyway! #wba
— JR (@thejonreeve) October 26, 2020
Admin can we have Bilic pictures to see he’s happy 🤷♂️
— Grady Diangana¹¹ (@JoshhWBA) October 26, 2020
Before #WBA Bilić managed Al-Ittihad where Hegazi has now gone to.
He was ultimately sacked, but had a frosty relationship with the board over lack of transfers.
— Grady Diangana¹¹ (@JoshhWBA) October 26, 2020
On the Hegazi transfer the timing is woeful. Financially it looks a good bit of business, but time will tell. He would have remained at the club if Bilic had his way.
— WBA Rainbow Stand 🅙 (@TheRainbowStand) October 25, 2020