Tag Archives: Zakaria Bakkali

Liverpool & Spurs target set for Lille loan

Belgian wonderkid Zakaria Bakkali’s future is a hotly contested one at the moment. Talks of an imminent move to Atletico Madrid are being followed up with reports of a loan move to Lille once the move to the Spanish capital is complete.

FBL-BEL-C1-ZULTE WAREGEM-PSV EINDHOVEN

Lille’s sporting director, Luc Devroe, invited the teenage sensation to watch the game between Ostende and Anderlecht last weeked. Devroe then confirmed that Bakkali is set to move to Lille a soon as his move to Atletico Madrid is finalised.

The teenager, currently a member of PSV Eindhoven’s squad, is believed to be in Madrid to discuss terms with the La Liga champions and Champions League finalists with a moving looking very likely, although personal terms are the only thing left to be agreed upon.

Bakkali is currently the youngest member of the Belgian national team squad and beame the youngest ever player to score a hat-trick in the Eredivisie, when he did so against NEC Nijmegen last season.

The Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur target is currently training with PSV’s second squad when available despite a deal being in place that will take him to the Rojiblancos in Spain.

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Atletico agree snip fee for Liverpool target

Last week heavily linked with Liverpool last week, Atletico Madrid have reached an agreement to sign Belgian wonderkid, Zakaria Bakkali from PSV Eindhoven for a fee said to be between €2-3 million. While the fee has been agreed between the club, the player and club are yet to agree on a contract.

De Telegraaf reported the news on Wednesday mentioning that their sources were within the Madrid team’s camp. The contract situation that PSV have left themselves in with Bakkali has left them somewhat powerless. His contract expires at the end of next season and the Dutch club are concerned that they will loss the versatile winger for nothing when that times comes.

Due to the fact that negotiations broke down during tense talks over his contract means Bakkali was more than likely out the door next summer, and PSV have decided to jump before they were pushed with the Belgian international of Moroccan descent.

Atletico Madrid continue to reinvest the money they have made of their best players this summer with another signing for the future and have landed the Liverpool, Spurs and Arsenal target with little or no aplomb. The La Liga Champions are not taking any prisoners in the transfer market this summer in an attempt to keep up with their rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona domestically and in Europe.

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Bakkali offer accepted but Liverpool still in the hunt

UPDATED 21st July 2014 – 19:10

PSV Eindhoven contract rebel Zakaria Bakkali is wishing to move to the Premier League with Liverpool under Brendan Rodgers in an €8m deal. Although, reports tonight coming out of Holland suggest that PSV have agreed a fee with Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt.

The young highly-rated Belgian winger has rejected PSV’s approaches with a new five-year contract due to the Eindhoven club unable to guarantee the 18-year-old first team football. Even though PSV technical director Martin Brands and head coach Philip Cocu highly-rate Bakkali, the emergence of Memphis Depay and Luciano Narsingh have made sure that the youngster is sitting on the bench.

By rejecting PSV’s offers, the club has saw this as a slap in the face and are looking to cash in on Bakkal, less than week after sending the player to train with the Jong PSV squad. At only €8m, Bakkali could prove to be a real snip for Liverpool, but he may well be spending time on the sidelines at Anfield also. England international Raheem Sterling has cemented his role on the right-wing after a tremendous season last campaign at only 19 years old and has no signs of letting up.

Bakkali himself burst on the season last year with a great start in a 5-0 win against NEC Nijmegen on 11th August 2013. At 17 years and 196 days, he became the youngest player in Eredivisie history to score a hat-trick.

Even with his great feats in the Eredivisie last season, PSV are set to ditch him due to his attitude regarding his future. Although he shows great ambitions, the youngster could find himself kicking up a storm in Liverpool within a few months. This is something that Brendan Rodgers will have to take into hand before signing the prospect to a deal.

Indeed a deal with Eintracht Frankfurt has been agreed, however, it is understood that Bakkali is holding off for a better offer. Could that be the mighty Reds?

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PSV YOUTH REAPING THE REWARDS

The international break can be a frustrating time for football fans. When Europe’s top leagues shut down for a week as players turn-out for their national sides, a lack of club news often presents itself. However, for PSV, the recent round of World Cup Qualifiers brought cause for great celebration; the international debuts of Memphis Depay and Zakaria Bakkali constituting a major landmark in the growth of its youth system.

At De Herdgang, the impressive training complex for all levels of PSV, an emphasis on the production of talented players isn’t entirely new. In the past, players such as Boudewijn Zenden, Ibrahim Affelay, and Zakaria Labyad have all graduated through the ranks and featured prominently in the first team. Even Coen Dillen, a renowned legend who has a statue at the Philips Stadion entrance, was taught as a youth at PSV. The difference now is that the youth system has been placed at the very nucleus of the clubs long-term philosophy, with significant investment being channeled into the development of young players and a technical team headed by Art Langeler drafted in to oversee the academy’s progression. Now, youth talent is regarded as an intrinsic aspect of the PSV plan, rather than a useful coincidence.

Phillip Cocu and his coaching team are the public figureheads of this ethos. When the former PSV captain was appointed manager on a four-year contract in the summer, promising to enact this widespread belief in youngsters, a few core players were earmarked for more prominent roles. Memphis Depay and Zakaria Bakkali, a pair of lively and skillful wingers, were duly unleashed on the Eredivisie stage. In the first three months of the season, both have earned rave reviews with a succession of electrifying performances and breath-taking wonder goals; Depay netting five important goals thus far and Bakkali becoming the youngest player ever to score an Eredivisie hat-trick. The recent international call-ups were fine reward for two shining jewels of the PSV revolution.

Depay, a Dutch-born Ghanaian, joined PSV in 2006 at the age of twelve. In time, the enigmatic winger has found his niche, his style, his role within a team. While working with Cocu in the Jong PSV set-up and representing Oranje at three different youth levels, Depay began to distinguish himself as a genuine prospect for the first-team. When Cocu briefly assumed interim control in 2011, Depay was granted his PSV debut, scoring two and assisting another in an emphatic 8-0 demolition of Noordwijkerhout. He later featured in the Eredivisie, before continued improvement saw the forward make thirty appearances under Dick Advocaat last term, when he often impressed the fans of PSV with dynamic, explosive performances.

The new direction embarked upon by PSV this summer owed much to youngsters such as Depay, Bakkali, and Jurgen Locadia pressing for greater first team inclusion. Cocu has relied heavily on these players as the foundation to his squad. Depay, in particular, has repaid him with a growing list of sensational goals from long-range and set-pieces. When watching Memphis, it’s immediately evident that his footballing idol is Cristiano Ronaldo; many of Ronaldo’s famous mannerisms, from the free-kick technique to the powerful running stride, are visible in Depay’s play. It’s exciting to see such a talented homegrown player at the fore of a new PSV generation.

It’s also exciting to see products of the academy featuring in an uber-talented Dutch national side. Depay, a prominent member of the Dutch Under-21 squad which reached the European Championship semi-finals in the summer, was an unused substitute for the senior team in a September game against Estonia. However, Louis van Gaal summoned him from the bench for the final few minutes against Turkey in Istanbul on 15 October, thus granting Depay a full international debut. Whilst he had little time to impact the game, it was still a proud moment for PSV; another of its homegrown players breaking through on the international stage.

At roughly the same time 1,600 miles away in Brussels, Bakkali doubled the delight for PSV. The immensely-talented seventeen year old took the impressive step of debuting for a Belgium side experiencing its greatest ever epoch. If you thought playing within a galaxy of Belgian stars at such a tender age would faze the wide-man, you’re sadly mistaken. “Well, isn’t it just a game like any other?,” Bakkali deadpanned while talking with Belgian daily Het Nieuws Blad after the game in which he replaced Everton starlet Kevin Mirallas for the final twelve minutes. It was apparently just a routine day in the continual growth of a superstar. A growth which has already seen him score in the Champions League, fire the aforementioned historic hat-trick at Philips Stadion against NEC Nijmegen, and become an integral part of a vibrant young team.

Bakkali wasn’t always the most heralded prospect, however. In fact, only diehard fans and local journalist knew a great deal about him as he progressed through the youth ranks. However, Phillip Cocu has shown tremendous faith in his forward, who is averaging a goal every other game, and the hype has clearly extended to the international scene. While Moroccan football executives hoped that Bakkali would elect to represent their country, the enthusiasm of Belgian coach Marc Wilmots was likely a determining factor in Zakaria’s choice. Wilmots has already likened Bakkali to superstar Eden Hazard, opining that “Zakaria is a player who scores easily, is very fast and has skillful dribbling. He has just about the same profile as Eden.” No pressure, then.

The future is certainly bright for PSV, with such a stable of impressive youngsters. In a World Cup year, players are given greater motivating to produce their best form, which will only benefit both club and country. Bakkali already has his sights set on Brazil, stating that he’ll “do everything, truly everything, at PSV to be able to go to Brazil. That is my big dream!” Thus, the advantages of international football become clear: PSV will have a motivated Bakkali striving to impress Wilmots and earn a place on the plane to Brazil which, in turn, will help sustain the phenomenal level of performance which he has shown, and help PSV in their quest for an Eredivisie title.

Ultimately, however, all of this comes back to Cocu and his vision. If his thorough belief in youth is to be vindicated, the cases of Depay and Bakkali must continue to be replicated. There is ample reason to believe that, with continued investment in youth development and the bright ideas from those in charge, they will. Every young player currently being taught at De Herdgang must hold these fully-fledged internationals as role models and standard-bearers. The rise to international prominence of such homegrown talents must act as inspiration. If we see more like Memphis and Zakaria in the coming years, PSV may seriously threaten Ajax and Feyenoord as traditional seats of young Dutch talent.

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EREDIVISIE TEAM OF THE WEEK #2

Header-EredivisieTeamOfTheWeek

Welcome to our weekly section at TotalDutchFootball.com – the Eredivisie Team of the Week. Below you will see our ‘Player of the Week’ also – each player will be allocated points and at the end of the season we will declare our ‘Player of the Season’. Each player will be given one point for being named in our team and the ‘Player of the Week’ will gain two points.

WEEK 2

20130812 - Week 2 Eredivisie

GOALKEEPER

Marco Bizot (FC Groningen) – In what seems a rarity, Bizot kept a clean sheet for Groningen this week as they kept up their 100% record. They have to thank Bizot at times, pulling off saves to keep his team at zero.

DEFENDERS

Santiago Arias (PSV) – The right-back, just signed for a snip from Sporting Lisbon looks to be fitting right in with the Eredivisie table-toppers. A strong performance helping the right wing in attack from the young Colombian.

Jeffrey Bruma (PSV) – Another excellent performance from the PSV man in the 5-0 win of NEC. Strikers Michael Higdon and Christoph Hemlein were kept at bay with ease by the big commanding central defender.

Darryl Lachman (PEC Zwolle) – The 23-year-old stormed forward with pleasure at times in the 3-1 win over Heralces and also put in some good blocks to intercept the Almelo attacks.

Xandro Schenk (Go Ahead Eagles) – A fantastic free-kick goal for the Eredivisie new boys earns him a spot in our team of the week.

MIDFIELDERS

Kamohelo Mokotjo (PEC Zwolle) – Another excellent display and scored a lovely goal in Zwolle’s 3-1 win over Heracles on Saturday.

Georginio Wijnaldum (PSV) – The new captain of PSV managed to go one better than last week and hit the net twice from attacking midfield.

Christian Eriksen (Ajax) – Although he tasted defeat against AZ and looked dejected after the game, he has to credited for yet another free-kick goal.

ATTACKERS

PLAYER OF THE WEEK Zakaria Bakkali (PSV) – A record-breaking five-star performance on Saturday and now the youngest player to ever score an Eredivisie hat-trick.

Romeo Castelen (RKC Waalwijk) – The returning Castelen scored his first Eredivisie goal for six years and was influential in his teams 4-2 victory over Vitesse Arnhem.

Marnix Kolder (Go Ahead Eagles) – His winning goal with ten minutes remaining on Saturday gave Go Ahead their first win on their return to the top flight.

Header-PlayerOfTheSeason

NAME POS TEAM POTW POINTS
Tjaronn Chery MF FC Groningen 1 2
Zakaria Bakkali ST PSV 1 2
Kamohelo Mokotjo MF PEC Zwolle   2
Christian Eriksen MF Ajax   2
Georginio Wijnaldum MF/ST PSV   2
Robbin Ruiter GK FC Utrecht   1
Ricardo Van Rhijn DF Ajax   1
Eric Botteghin DF FC Groningen   1
Jop van der Linden DF Go Ahead Eagles   1
Jetro Willems DF PSV   1
Andreas Kirm ST FC Groningen   1
Alfred Finnbogason ST Heerenveen   1
Xandro Schenk DF Go Ahead Eagles   1
Marco Bizot GK FC Groningen   1
Santiago Arias DF PSV   1
Jeffrey Bruma DF PSV   1
Darryl Lachman DF PEC Zwolle   1
Romeo Castelen ST RKC Waalwijk   1
Marnix Kolder ST Go Ahead Eagles   1

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