Former Aston Villa star Gabriel Agbonlahor has slammed West Bromwich Albion’s decision to part ways with centre-back Ahmed Hegazi last month. The Baggies have endured a tough start on their Premier League comeback and they have accumulated only three points after eight games into the campaign.

Hegazi missed the start of the campaign with an injury, but he made his comeback against Burnley last month where he kept a clean sheet. Despite this, the west Midlands outfit made the shock decision to loan him out to Al-Ittihad with the obligation to buy at the end of the campaign. The move will save the Baggies around £10m in wages and transfer fees, but the decision is still a surprise, given the Egyptian’s prior experience in the Premier League.

Speaking to Football Insider, Agbonlahor slammed the club’s decision and believes some managers would have stepped out from the job in such circumstances. He added that the Baggies may regret the decision, suppose they experience an injury crisis during the season, he told: “I think it’s a bit of a delicate situation there now.

“It’s ridiculous and I know some managers out there that would have left the next day if that happened. You prepare a squad for a season and to get players taken out of that squad behind your back it’s shocking. I’m sure it’s something that they’ll regret because if Bilic runs out of centre-halves, he will say to them that ‘I could have done with a Hegazi in this game and maybe I would have got a point rather than lost the game.”

The Baggies currently have Kyle Bartley, Cedric Cipre, Semi Ajayi, Branislav Ivanovic and Darren O’Shea as the options at the heart of the defence. It remains to be seen whether the hierarchy back Slaven Bilic with funds to bolster the position, should the club struggle to jump out of the drop zone by the turn of the year.