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Does Ahmed Hegazi fit in midfield?

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As links to midfielders come and go, it seems that Paulo Sousa just might have an unexpected card up his sleeve to fortify his midfield: towering center back Ahmed Hegazy.

But seriously, can we discuss that hair?
But seriously, can we discuss that hair?
Fiorentina.it

In an unexpected personnel switch, Ahmed Hegazy spent last Saturday at Moena working as a holding midfielder. Whether it's merely a way to get the promising, albeit injury-prone, Egyptian involved and on the field for Fiorentina, or if Sousa sees the hulking 24-year-old as a legitimate candidate to anchor the middle, remains to be seen. I genuinely know almost nothing about Hegazy, whether he's capable of receiving the ball into feet, turning, and picking a good pass, or if he's just there for his height and physicality.

It's hard to figure out what Sousa sees in his makeshift midfielder. Hegazy spent last year on loan at Perugia, where he made just two appearances. After two years lost to knee injuries, time in Florence has to be running out for the Egyptian international. Unlikely to pull ahead of Gonzalo, Savic, Basanta, Tomovic, or Alonso as central defending options, working in midfield could be his last chance to break into the team.

Of course, there's also something to be gleaned from Sousa being interested in sticking a converted and not particularly mobile centerback into his midfield. Clearly, calm positioning and reading of the game is important here, as well as aerial prowess to deal with long passes from the back and goal kicks.

On the other hand, Gonzalo spent some time in the preseason training as a defensive midfielder last year, but never left the heart of the defense in the regular season, and this looks to be the same sort of thing: an enjoyable summer experiment, but nothing more.

As Sousa seems to be willing to tinker with formations and personnel until he finds what he likes, he's probably just doing his due diligence, rather than revolutionizing Hegazy's career. If we see "the Nesta of the Nile" playing off of the backline against Carpi this coming Saturday, there's a chance it could be a real development. Right now, though, it looks like basic summer antics.