Name: Yacine Brahimi
International Caps: 8
Position: Attacking Midfielder / Winger
Looking to move to a more “upscale” club, Brahimi is believed to be agitating for a transfer away from Granada this summer. The 24 year old is rumoured to be interesting Roberto Martinez and Mauricio Pochettino at Everton and Tottenham respectively. One of Algeria’s brightest attacking talents, the midfielder is expected to start tonight against Germany as the Africans’ look to avenge “the Shame of Gijon” in 1982.
After spending much of his career with Rennes, Brahimi spent the 2012/13 campaign on loan with Granada before making the move permanent last summer. The Spanish side cleverly inserted a release clause believed to be around £12 million, a fee which any interested club will likely have to meet to secure the Algerian’s services.
Predominantly selected as a left winger, the 24 year old is also capable on the opposite flank, cutting in to operate on his preferred left foot. In La Liga last season, the midfielder completed 164 dribbles, the most of any player in the division. The impressive total saw the winger record an average of 4.7 dribbles per match, a figure surprisingly surpassing the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
As the second striker off of Islam Slimani, Brahimi delivered an outstanding performance in Algeria’s recent 4-2 victory over South Korea. The 24 year old linked up with Sofiane Feghouli to good effect on a number of occasions and helped himself to a goal. The winger also delivered the cross for Slimani’s crucial equaliser in the draw against Russia, a result which secured Algeria’s qualification at the expense of Fabio Capello’s side.
However, Brahimi certainly needs to improve upon his end product if he is to successfully make the grade at his next club. Despite these dribbles, the Algerian only ended the season with three goals and four assists in La Liga, figures that certainly should be higher. Considering the 24 year old’s ability to ghost past players, Brahimi really needs to be recording a greater offensive contribution.
Undoubtedly a gifted individual, £12 million could be a gamble on a midfielder that certainly has a few rough edges. Considering Tottenham’s wealth of options in that area of the field, a transfer to Everton would appear to make more sense at this stage. If Martinez reckons he can coax out an improved output from Brahimi, £12 million for the Algerian could just be a gamble worth taking.