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Zakaria Bakkali, Belgian Top Talent

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ZAKARIA BAKKALI

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Age: 17 years

Born: 26th of january 1996 in Liège

Team: PSV Eindhoven (Ned)

Nationality: Belgium (U21- player)

Position: Striker, Secondary Striker, Winger

SM-Rating: not in DB (will normally play next season!)

Potential: 90+

Market Value: € 8.000.000

Attributes: Agility, Pace, Long shots, Finishing, Technique, Dribbling, Two footed

He is comparable to: Pele, Ronaldo

Zakaria Bakkali can play on either wing, is adept with both feet, has a powerful shot and even though he has not played for PSV Eindhoven’s firs team yet, he has already interested some of Europe’s top clubs.
“Small and skillful” and now has the moniker of the “best young player in the World” thrust upon him. No pressure then for the 15-year-old. So how good is he really? The line between being the next Pele and the next Freddy Adu is finer than you’d think.
Coach Belgium U17: "He is a better talent than Eden Hazard at his age!"

STATISTICS BELGIUM

Belgien U21: 2 Games and impressing at the Tournament of Toulon

Belgien U17: 9 Games - 7 Goals

Belgien U16: 4 Games - 4 Goals

Belgien U15: 6 Games - 5 Goals

ATTRIBUTES

Bakkali possesses a venomous shot and can be seen in various PSV C1 videos beating goalkeepers from distance. The threat he offers outside the box forces defenders to close him down when he receives the ball. Watching Bakkali play you can see he relishes that pressure, often beating players with his close control and turn of pace, exploiting the space they leave behind.

There are areas for development but that is only natural for one so young. The movement off the ball and ability to bring those around him into play is there but still needs honing to make him a truly great player. The youth setup at PSV has been developed to do exactly that and Dutch football is often hailed as a great hotbed for exciting young talent.

Whether the talented young Belgian can handle the added pressure that a publicised move to Manchester City would bring remains to be seen. It is simply too early to tell if the mental strength required to succeed at the highest level is there. The natural talent most certainly is though.

CARREER SO FAR

Bakkali was born in Morocco but like so many that have gone before him grew up in Europe and has chosen to play his international football at youth level for Belgium. The young Belgian was spotted three years ago while a part of the youth setup at Standard Liege and PSV moved quickly to bring him to the club.

He first came to the attention of English clubs in August of this year playing for PSV Eindhoven in the Nike Cup, hosted by Manchester United. PSV failed to make it out of their group but Bakkali was voted the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

Manchester City were very keen on signing Bakkali when he was just 15 after he was voted the best young player in the world at the 2011 Nike Cup. He has instead just signed a 3 year contract extension with his current club. As a part of a new contract, PSV promised to let Bakkali train with the club's first team.

But the interest has not gone away. The teenage midfielder has attracted enquiries from Manchester City and Arsenal a few months ago, while Manchester United registered their interest last season during the Aegon Cup.

Marcel Brands, PSV Technical Manager: “He has a level of skill that makes him stand out from the crowd in the Netherlands. We want to recruit and develop talented youth players through our Academy into the first-team squad. Zakaria Bakkali may serveas an example and inspire other youth players”

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Re: Zakaria Bakkali, Belgian Top Talent

Looks like an amazing talent. Able to drift past players with ease...

When do you reckon he could have a chance of hitting the first team?

I think new trainer Cocu will give more chances for the youth players and in the U21 game against Portugal he played amazing for a 17y old kid

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Re: Zakaria Bakkali, Belgian Top Talent

I think new trainer Cocu will give more chances for the youth players and in the U21 game against Portugal he played amazing for a 17y old kid

Just seen the video now

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His run at 0:35 is messi-like

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Re: Zakaria Bakkali, Belgian Top Talent

Yesterday a 9-man Belgium knocked Mexico out of U20 Toulon Tournament. Bakkali scored the equalizer in the extra time and gives a disappointing tournament a posivitive note.

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The summary of the game, you can see the goal at 5:38

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Re: Zakaria Bakkali, Belgian Top Talent

Looks like he'll be added to the database at the start of the new season when PSV II (as well as Ajax II and Twente II) are going to play in the Eerste Divisie. By far the biggest talent of the PSV youth academy.

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Re: Zakaria Bakkali, Belgian Top Talent

One of the better players in the first half. He has got some surprising actions. Two shots on goal from him, one on the post and one just wide. Wasn't very visible anymore in the 2nd half and he was substituted off after 80 minutes. Looks promising and he'll probably play some matches for PSV this season if they don't buy another winger. Needs to get used to the match intensity on the highest level and arrange his energy more equally over the match.

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Re: Zakaria Bakkali, Belgian Top Talent

First official game yesterday in CL play-off against Zulte Waregem. Will be added soon!

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Not convinced yet? Here you see his performance in the friendly against Fenerbahce

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Re: Zakaria Bakkali, Belgian Top Talent

Zakaria BAKKALI Player rejected

Zakaria BAKKALI Player already submitted

Zakaria BAKKALI Player rejected

Zakaria BAKKALI Player rejected

Zakaria BAKKALI Player rejected

Zakaria BAKKALI Player rejected

Zakaria BAKKALI Player rejected

Zakaria BAKKALI Player rejected

So someone has recently submitted him and the SW experts will make a decision. Probably after the weekend. Think it'll be approved this time.

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