Friday, September 29, 2023

Barcelona Wanted To Sign This Ligue 1 Midfielder: Should Xavi Go Back In For Him?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent report, Foot Mercato mentioned that Barcelona wanted to sign Olympique Marseille midfielder Azzedine Ounahi earlier this summer. It has been stated that the Catalan club were showing interest in recruiting the Morocco international in the recently concluded summer transfer window.

Ounahi’s Impressive Form In Ligue 1 Last Season

Ounahi had a solid loan spell at Angers last season when he produced a run of influential performances for them at the centre of the park. The 23-year-old scored one goal in 24 appearances for the French outfit in the previous campaign across all fronts.

The Moroccan sensation was a positive influence at both ends of the field based on his average of 1.3 tackles, 1.0 interceptions, 1.5 shots, 1.1 key passes and 2.7 dribbles per 90 minutes in Ligue 1. He was even accurate when distributing possession from midfield after completing 88.3% of his attempted passes in top-flight football (stats via whoscored).

His current deal at his parent club Marseille will expire in the summer of 2027. Thus, Barcelona would have to make a big offer if they want to convince the French club to part ways with their prized asset this winter or at the end of this campaign.

Azzedine Ounahi
TANGIER, MOROCCO – MARCH 25: Azzedine Ounahi of Morocco competes for the ball with Rodrygo and Casemiro of Brazil during the international friendly match between Morocco and Brazil at Grand Stade de Tanger on March 25, 2023 in Tangier, Morocco. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

Should Barcelona Head Coach Xavi Go Back In For Ounahi?

Ounahi is a solid tackler of the ball and can make some crucial interceptions for his side in the middle of the park. He can strike the ball with venom and accuracy from long range and has got the vision to engineer a few promising chances in the final third.

The Morocco star is a good dribbler with the ball as well but needs to add a few more goals and assists to his game. He is primarily a box-to-box midfielder but can also play in the number ten position or as a defensive midfielder if needed.

We can expect Ounahi to add more quality to Barcelona boss Xavi‘s starting XI. He has what it takes to fight for a regular starting spot at the Nou Camp next year.

At 23, Ounahi will only get better as he matures as a footballer. Hence, the Catalan club would be wise to go back in for him when the transfer window commences once again at the start of next year.

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