They started the year 2021 on a high note. Many Moroccan internationals have shown themselves to be decisive and indispensable in their clubs. Some are even considered the best at their posts in Europe. Here are the Moroccans who risk doing badly this 2021/2022 season.
Achraf Hakimi has become a key figure at Antonio Conte’s Inter after a slow start to Serie A. The Morocco international is now the Nerazzurri’s third top scorer this season with six goals, behind only forwards Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez , after finding the net in the 2-2 draw at Roma.
Hakimi is now the team’s best offensive outlet behind the top two and what he’s doing in the future shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Its strong performance only increased its value in the transfer market. According to the latest Football Observatory (CIES) ranking, the former Real Madrid player is now the 16th most expensive player in the world with an estimated value of 113.7 million euros, he who had been transferred to Milan for 40 million euros.
Hakimi is capable of shooting with both feet and four of his six goals have come with his weaker foot, having found in his performances the consistency he lacked at the start of his Inter career.
Since joining the Italian giant from Dortmund, Hakimi has been the author of six goals and five assists in 22 appearances.
Hakim Ziyech is doing (and will continue to do) great things with Chelsea, and his manager is saying it. The Moroccan international also quickly won the hearts of English fans, on the strength of his thunderous debut at Chelsea, a club in which he has become an indispensable player, despite strong competition.
The former Ajax Amsterdam star started the year on the bench following an injury, before marking his return to the pitch and his latest performance showed the Moroccan had lost none of his mojo.
Indeed, the help he gave Hudson-Odoi in Sunday’s 4-0 win over Morecambe showed he was the key to unlocking Chelsea’s attacking potential.
After receiving the ball, he looks forward and sees Hudson-Odoi dash inward from the left wing. Ziyech then sends the ball over the defense and into the path of Hudson-Odoi who places the ball in the net.
Far from wanting to rest on his laurels, Ziyech expressed his conviction of being able to win the Premier League title this season. The Moroccan has already proven how much he will be a creative asset for the club.
🎥 | THE GOLAZOOOO OF YOUSSEF EN-NESYRI WHICH ALLOWS SEVILLE TO LEAD 2-1. #SevillaFCRealSociedad
– Moroccan players 🇲🇦 (@JoueursMA) January 9, 2021
Long considered an outsider, Youssef En-Nesyri is experiencing the most dazzling progress. After a difficult start at Sevilla FC, which he joined last season, the Moroccan international struggled to gain his starting place but clung to the confidence of his club and in particular that of his coach, Julen Lopetegui.
Since then, the Atlas Lion is the author of solid performances. His powerful stride and relentless pressure are now accompanied by a wide array of fire and resources in the area.
Thanks to his hat-trick against Real Sociedad, En-Nesyri will have reached the peak of his career. The Atlas Lion is currently at 8 goals in the 2021/2020 season, and 4 in the 2019/2020 season. This new achievement ranks him in the top 5 of La Liga’s top scorers this season.
With increasingly noticed performances, the Moroccan enjoys a value that exceeded 20 million euros when the Andalusian club decided to bet on him.
Doubts had accompanied his arrival at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium, but today, with performances which make him equal to the best strikers in La Liga, they have been lifted.
Installed in the Sevillian goal, having taken advantage of the absence of Vaclik, the Moroccan goalkeeper born in Montreal is, at 29 years old, in a state of maturity which allows him to be important for the FC Sevilla of Julen Lopetegui.
A great architect of Sevilla FC’s victory in the Europa League, Yassine Bounou has won the trust and love of supporters, in particular thanks to decisive saves against Manchester United or Inter in the final of the European competition.
Thanks to his performances, he also dismissed Munir El Kajoui from the position of incumbent in selection. He is the number 1 choice of Vahid Halilhodzic convinced by the second best goalkeeper in Liga with impressive save percentages (80% behind Oblak, 88%).
Described as “the wall of Sevilla”, Bounou continued in his stride and stood out again on the seventeenth day of La Liga, against Betis Sevilla.
The Moroccan goalkeeper delivered, once again, a solid performance by stopping in particular a penalty from Nabil Fékir which allowed his team to leave with the point of the draw.
A stop that allows him to enter the history of the club since in 99 derbies in the elite, never a goalkeeper of Sevilla FC had stopped the slightest penalty.
Youssef El Arabi
👀Eyes on our International Players🦁🇲🇦
When you Google “Goal Machine” 🔥
Our international player Youssef El Arabi did it AGAIN, he scored today against Panetolikos🇬🇷
He’s still the Greek Super League’s top scorer with 14 goals🦁#DimaMaghrib💚🇲🇦❤ pic.twitter.com/VOC9LCTaW8
– National Team of Morocco (@EnMaroc) January 10, 2021
A sure bet from Olympiakos, Youssef El Arabi does not disappoint. Top scorer of his training, the Moroccan continues to show that he is the best at his post.
His last performance only confirmed it. During his team’s victory against Panetolikos, when the two teams are tied (1-1), he managed to find the net to allow his team to win finally by two goals to one. With this new achievement, he brings his total of goals to 14 this season, after 14 appearances in the Greek Super League.
– FC Schalke 04 (@ s04) January 11, 2021
Amine Harit suffered a slowdown at the start of the season, after setting Germany on fire last season. With Schalke 04 under threat of relegation, the Moroccan had long been linked with a departure following his disappointing performances.
Like a phoenix rising from its ashes, the 22-year-old didn’t let down and started the year with a great achievement that allows his club to see the light.
Amine Harit delivered three assists and scored a goal during the meeting. An XXL performance that allows him to improve his statistics, now to one goal and four assists after 10 Bundesliga games. There is no doubt that once launched, the Moroccan will continue to enjoy very good health.
Younès Belhanda slammed a hat-trick in 15 minutes against Gençlerbirliği tonight! 🎩
A great way to silence the critics 👏🇲🇦 pic.twitter.com/nGWq7XQQ2I
– Galatasaray France (@GSSKFRANCE) January 9, 2021
Like his compatriot Amine Harit, Younès Belhanda also woke up. The former OGC Nice did in one game what he failed to do all season.
Indeed, the Galatasaray striker managed to plant 3 goals (30th, 44th, 45 + 2) in the space of 15 minutes, against Gençlerbirligi, on the occasion of the 18th day of the Turkish Süper Lig.
A service that allows him to regain confidence, he who had been put on the transfer list on numerous occasions. Since the start of her season, Belhanda has reached five goals and one assist in 13 Süper Lig appearances.