Why should Ahmed Hegazi go to Newcastle instead of Brighton this summer
West Brom and Egypt defender Ahmed Hegazi has been a Newcastle and Brighton target this summer. The Magpies manager Rafa Benitez must better his squad when compared to last season. The Egyptian defender was one of the standout performers for the Baggies in their collective flop-show, which saw them get relegated to Championship football.
Newcastle are in the market for a new centre-back to cover up for the loss of Florian Lejeune, whose injury will keep him out of the action until 2019. Getting Hegazi will be a decent move for the club and the player, who must be eager to continue playing Premier League football.
Here’s why Hegazi should move to Newcastle this summer and enhance his reputation in the English top-flight:
Rafa Benitez is an experienced manager with plenty of experience of winning big things and getting the best of his players. The Spaniard has done the latter with great effect at Newcastle, where first he took a mediocre (with all due respect) squad to the Premier League and then lead them to a top-half finish in top-flight football. Long story short, Benitez has done a miracle at St James’ Park with a negligible net spend and almost no support from the owners.
Any player who is striving to improve and play his best game should be eager to play under a manager like him. So, Hegazi must join Newcastle and enhance his overall gameplay to uplift his prominence in world football. The Egyptian should get attracted by the prospect of playing under a man who has won European competitions in the past and is doing well at his current club.
Benitez is undoubtedly an attraction for many players who want to lift their game and play to their full potential. Hegazi is a decent centre-back who has the talent to become one of the colossals of the game. He probably needs good coaching and man-management to let him play to the fullest. For that reason, moving to Newcastle will make complete sense for the 27-year-old.
For Newcastle as well, Hegazi will be the right replacement for Lejeune. Signing the Egyptian will ensure that the club are well-prepared for the challenge ahead.
After spending £22.25m to sign this 22-year-old ace, Aston Villa must focus on their £30m pursuit of this defender
Aston Villa Opinion: Wesley Moraes and Lewis Dunk could be the marquee signings that the Lions need to ensure Premier League survival
According to The Sun, Aston Villa have broken their club-record fee by forking out a staggering £22.25 million to complete the signing of Brazilian striker Wesley Moraes, with reports claiming that the 22-year-old is set to pen a five-year deal at Villa Park in the next 24 hours, subject to international clearance and work permit.
The Sun understands that Villa beat off competition from a number of clubs, including Bayer Leverkusen, Lazio and Guangzhou Evergrande, as well as Premier League outfits Newcastle United, West Ham and Arsenal, to finally get their hands on the coveted 22-year-old centre-forward.
Moraes was expected to be a hot property in the summer transfer window following his goalscoring heroics for Belgian heavyweights Clube Brugge this past season. The Brazilian registered as many as 17 goals and 10 assists in 48 appearances across all competitions, playing a key role as Clube Brugge finished runners-up to Genk in the Belgian top-flight.
Dean Smith was under pressure to sign an out-and-out centre-forward following the return of star loanee Tammy Abraham to his parent club Chelsea. Abraham netted 26 goals in all competitions this past season to propel the Lions to a promotion-winning campaign in the Championship, as Smith’s men overcame Derby County in the playoff finals at Wembley last month.
Abraham was an ever-present for Villa up front in the Championship but they needed to bring in a like-for-like replacement to cover for his departure and it looks like they have found one in Wesley Moraes. The Brazilian has been compared to former Villa hitman Christian Benteke and Man United striker Romelu Lukaku due to his towering 6ft. 3-inch physique, although he has a bit more flair and a touch of South American elegance to his game.
Noted for his supreme aerial prowess, intelligent movement, poaching instincts and incredible strength, Moraes also has the necessary level of pace, sharpness and agility to taste success at the highest level. The 22-year-old seemingly has all the attributes to fit seamlessly into the style of play prevalent in England and Villa would probably find themselves clear of the relegation zone if he manages to produce even half of what he did in Belgium this season.
Meanwhile, Wesley Moraes is not the only big name to be linked with a move to Villa Park, with Smith also plotting a sensational £30 million swoop for Brighton and Hove Albion and England centre-back Lewis Dunk as a part of his summer spending spree. (h/t Sun)
Dunk’s links with Villa is indicative of the fact that the Lions are looking for an overall squad upgrade in a bid to ensure survival in the Premier League and the towering centre-back is understandably the latest addition to the manager’s wishlist.
Villa have already struck deals for Birmingham City’s Jota, Wolves loanee Kortney Hause and Anwar El Ghazi, whilst having player’s like Matt Targett and Jack Butland on their shortlist. (h/t Sun)
Vulnerability at the back was a major concern for Villa in the earlier stages of this past season in the Championship before the acquisition of Tyrone Mings and Kortney Hause on loan in January transformed their backline into one of the most formidable in the division.
They have released players like Mile Jedinak, Alan Hutton and Tommy Elphick, and while that still leaves them with James Chester and Hause as viable options at centre-back, the Lions need to add more Premier League experience to their backline. And Brighton’s Lewis Dunk certainly fits the bill.
The 27-year-old 6ft. 4-inch centre-back is regarded as one of the best defenders outside the big-six in the Premier League and he certainly ticks the box in terms of experience as well, having racked up over 270 appearances for the Seagulls in all competitions over the course of 9 years.
Dunk perfectly combines the virtues of an old-school English centre-back and a modern-day ball-playing defender and it would be fair to say that he has been one of Brighton’s best players since their promotion to the top flight a couple of seasons back.
Villa probably won’t go all out to complete a permanent deal for Mings if they manage to sign Dunk this summer and one can get the feeling that the 27-year-old would be an upgrade on the Bournemouth man.
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Villa have already shown plenty of ambition in the transfer market upon their promotion to the Premier League following a three-year absence and it is a no-brainer that the arrival of marquee signings like Wesley Moraes and Lewis Dunk would go a long way towards securing their future in the top-flight.
Brighton getting their hands on this 23-year-old Rangers star could be the push they need to improve overall gameplay
Brighton Opinion: Glen Kamara could increase competition for places in the Seagulls midfield
According to Daily Record, Rangers star Glen Kamara has been linked with a move to Premier League sider Brighton and Hove Albion, with reports claiming that new Seagulls manager Graham Potter is keen to secure the services of the 23-year-old midfielder.
Kamara is not the only Rangers player to have been linked with a move to the south coast of England, though, with Gers skipper James Tavernier also lined up by Brighton as a potential transfer target. (h/t Daily Record)
Kamara has openly discussed his dream of playing in the Premier League one day, although the Finnish international has also suggested that he is happy to continue playing under Steven Gerrard at Ibrox. (h/t Daily Record)
The 23-year-old, who made his move to Rangers from fellow Scottish Premiership club Dundee United back in January for a paltry £50,000, went on to establish himself as one of the key cogs of Gerrard’s midfield in the second half of this past season.
Kamara made 16 appearances for Rangers in all competitions following his January move to Ibrox and contributed with a goal and 3 assists from a deep position in the midfield.
The Finnish international earned rave reviews for his performances in Rangers’ 2-0 victory over Old Firm Rivals Celtic towards the end of the campaign, further epitomizing his worth as one of the best bargains of the season in the division.
Hence, it is not difficult to see why he has been linked with a return to English football, having initially failed to make an impact at Arsenal earlier in his career.
Born in Tampere, Finland, to parents of Sierre Leone descent, Kamara joined Arsenal at the youth level back in 2012. However, he found regular minutes hard to come by at his boyhood club and went on to make only a solitary first-team appearance for the Gunners in the EFL Cup. Instead, the midfielder spent time on loan at Colchester United and Southend United before venturing north of the border to join Dundee.
Essentially a defensive midfielder by trade, Kamara is capable of playing both holding and box-to-box roles in the middle of the park. A strong, tenacious and hardworking midfielder with high levels of stamina, the 23-year-old is noted for his tireless running and uncompromised work-rate, whilst also possessing the range of passing to add stability to the team in the middle of the park.
Kamara combines his good turn of pace with his drive and strength to create space and carry the ball forward with intent, acting as the vital link between the midfield and the forward line. Not only does he excel at winning possession back for his team, but he also has a keen eye for a pass and often manages to break the opposition’s lines with his intelligence.
To put things into perspective, Kamara certainly deserves another chance to prove his worth in the Premier League, having done so well for Rangers and Dundee in the Scottish Premiership.
Despite the massive difference in the quality and intensity of football between the two leagues, one would expect the 23-year-old to gradually make the step up and carve out a reputation for himself in English football.
Brighton luckily managed to beat the drop in the Premier League this past season but the Seagulls will be expected to aim for better things under the stewardship of their new manager Graham Potter, who replaced Chris Hughton at the helm of affairs last month.
The Seagulls are currently not crying out for reinforcements in central midfield, though, with the likes of Davy Propper, Pascal Gross, Yves Bissouma and Dale Stephens in their ranks. Gross and Propper are high-quality central midfielders, and while they didn’t do a lot last season, one would expect them to deliver the goods under Potter next term.
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It remains to be seen whether Kamara proves to be an upgrade on the likes of Stephens and Bissouma but he could certainly increase competition for places and add much-needed depth in a key area of the pitch for the Seagulls. Also, the 23-year-old is unlikely to cost Brighton a fortune, so signing him won’t necessarily drain their transfer budget that much.
Brighton beating West Ham to sign this £8.8m-rated Spanish ace would boost their chances of top-flight survival
Brighton Opinion: Girona attacker Portu could prove to be a massive coup for the Seagulls
According to claims from Spanish source El Mundo Deportivo, Premier League duo Brighton and Hove Albion and West Ham are set to battle it out for the signature of Girona’s Spanish attacking midfielder Portu in the summer transfer window.
Cristian Portugues Manzanera, better known as Portu, netted 10 goals in 37 appearances across all competitions for Girona this term, as the Catalan club suffered relegation from the La Liga in their second season in the top-flight.
The 27-year-old seemingly has carved out a reputation for himself in the top-flight and it is understood that Brighton and West Ham are prepared to offer him an escape route.
Portu formed a wonderful strike partnership with Uruguayan international Cristhian Stuani at Girona and his prolific form hasn’t eluded the eyes of the English clubs, meaning that a move to the Premier League is very much on the cards for the former Valencia academy product.
An academy product of Valencia, Portu made only a handful of appearances for his boyhood club before joining Albacete in the Segunda Division back in 2014. The Spaniard scored 12 goals in 79 appearances for Albacete over the course of two seasons before switching boats to join fellow second-tier outfit Girona following his club’s relegation to the third-tier.
Portu set the stage on fire at Girona in his debut season and played a key role in their first ever promotion to the La Liga, contributing with 8 goals and 8 assists to propel the Catalans into the Spanish top-flight. He bettered those numbers on his return to the La Liga and bagged an impressive 11 goals in the 2017-18 campaign, as Girona beat the drop with ease.
The 27-year-old’s influence hardly seemed to wane this term but his best efforts weren’t enough to keep Girona in the top-flight for another season. Nevertheless, he has shown that he belongs to a much higher level than the Spanish second-tier and his exploits have attracted attention from across the continent.
To put things into perspective, Portu neither has an eye-watering record for a striker nor does he fall under the category of a world-beater but the Spaniard could potentially be a useful signing for either of the aforementioned Premier League clubs.
While West Ham should look at him as a replacement for the likes of Javier Hernandez, Andy Carroll and Lucas Perez, the Spaniard could also add a bit more spice to a rather tame looking Brighton attack. However, the Seagulls should look to try and win the race for the 27-year-old this summer.
Portu is not an out-and-out centre-forward by trade but the Spaniard is very much capable of leading the line and playing out wide on either flank as an attacking midfielder. However, he is at his best when deployed in a No.10 role as a supporting striker behind the No.9, which allows him to bring his playmaking attributes into play.
The 27-year-old is blessed with a decent technique and he knows how to combine his technical abilities with his slick passing and tactical maturity. Noted for his flair and trickery on the ball, Portu is capable of playing between the opposition’s lines and has the vision and the creativity to work the channels and open up the spaces for his teammates.
To add to that, the Spaniard can be a handful with his link-up play and clever movement off the ball, which allows him to get into scoring positions inside the box. His sharpness and agility can also be an asset to any team during counter-attacking situations.
Chris Hughton’s dismissal following a poor run in the Premier League this past season and the subsequent appointment of Graham Potter as the new manager is a clear indication of Brighton’s ambition in the top-flight.
The Seagulls need to back their new manager with a good-enough budget this summer and the acquisition of Portu could solve a lot of problems for the south-coast club.
Glen Murray topped the scoring list with 14 goals last season but Brighton have every reason to be concerned with the lacklustre performances of Jurgen Locadia and club-record signing Alireza Jahanbahksh.
They raided the Spanish top-flight for Florin Andone last summer and the Romanian did show glimpses of promise in his limited opportunities in his first season in English football, which should further prompt the Seagulls to bring in Portu.
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Brighton need more depth and quality in their attack to challenge for better things in the Premier League and the acquisition of the 27-year-old could prove to be a make-or-break factor for them next term.
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