After a few weeks of the dust settling, the rumour mill has begun to turn once again. Reports from both Germany and England have suggested that Town have inquired and made a bid for FC Nurnberg’s talented starlet Abdelhamid Sabiri.
Although a loose inquiry is far from an indication of Sabiri’s departure, the news broke that Town had made an opening bid of €450,000. Whilst Nuremberg rejected the bid, it is looking increasingly likely that Sabiri could be Town’s eleventh signing of the summer.
As a relative unknown, this scout report looks to provide you with an insight into who Abdelhamid Sabiri is and what he may bring to Town.
Who is Abdelhamid Sabiri?
Born in the small Moroccan city of Goulmina, Abdelhamid Sabiri began life playing football beneath the shadow of the High Atlas Mountains.
An increasing trend has seen players from North Africa make the switch to Germany from an early age, however, Sabiri was a late bloomer as he joined German side TuS Koblenz at the age of seventeen.
After just a single season playing for TuS Koblenz’s youth side, the impressive Moroccan starlet was attracting attention from both the Bundesliga and the 2. Bundesliga.
Sabiri spent a season of further development at S.V Darmstadt. However, the Moroccan’s breakout season came when he joined Oberliga Westfalen side Sportfreunde Siegen.
This move was a catalyst for his notoriety, as Sabiri scored eighteen goals and provided six assists in thirty appearances. This was the season when Sabiri established himself as one of the brightest talents outside of the Bundesliga.
Having built his reputation at Sportsfreunde Siegen, Sabiri made the switch from the North Rhine-Westphalia to Bavaria, as he joined his current club, 2. Bundesliga side FC Nurnberg.
The Moroccan winger who also enjoys playing in the number 10 role replicated his success for Nurnberg’s reserve side as he scored twelve goals and supplied six assists in twenty-one matches for Nurnberg II.
Sabiri’s meteoric rise continued as he was promoted to Nurnberg’s first team side for the second half of last season, despite missing eight matches due to a knee injury, Sabiri scored five times in the nine 2. Bundesliga matches that he was involved in.
Even though Sabiri remains in the earliest stages of his career, the Moroccan starlet has been attracting attention from both the Bundesliga and from across continental Europe.
At this moment in time, it appears that Town are leading the chase but Championship side Aston Villa are also reportedly interested in signing the 20-year-old midfielder.
After the news broke that Town were interested in signing Abdelhamid Sabiri, I got in touch with 2. Bundesliga expert Jonathan Walsh of the website Bundesliga Fanatic to give us his views of the Moroccan playmaker.
Abdelhamid Sabiri is a curious character. Brought into the team just after the winter break, he was a revelation. His stats speak for themselves, too. Five goals in nine games for a struggling FCN side was extremely impressive.
He was quick, energetic, lively – everything you expect from a youngster. The fact he was producing goals from wide at such an incredible rate is something very few, if any, wingers have managed in recent years – Marc Schnatterer aside.
He most certainly is raw, and an uncut diamond but he still has bundles of potential and could be a star if harnessed correctly.
Since the news came out about a possible move, things have been less than jovial. But as someone who is direct, creative, strong in the air – he is a player that would be worth the initial outlay if his upward curve continues.
Would he be a success at Town?
From Town’s summer transfer business alone, it is clear that David Wagner has been looking to supplement the lack of goals which were the only notable flaw in what was an extraordinary season.
Already, we have seen the arrival of Tom Ince, Laurent Depoitre, and Steve Mounie as a means of providing the goals needed to help Town secure their Premier League status.
However, David Wagner may feel that another winger is needed due to Rajiv van La Parra’s enigmatic inconsistency in the final third.
Although Abdelhamid Sabiri is extremely raw considering that this is his second senior season to date, he could be a player that under David Wagner’s tutelage develops into a bright star.
From his pace and athleticism to his aerial ability and ambipedal nature, Sabiri has the all-round attributes needed to be a success in England.
Not only does Sabiri possess the physical attributes and the skillset to be a game-changer, the versatile Moroccan forward has also proved over the past three seasons that he has the cognitive awareness to make the right decision in the final third.
Considering that David Wagner is looking for wide options that have guaranteed end product, Sabiri fits the criteria.
Therefore, even though Sabiri is far from the marquee signing that some Town fans would like to see, the Moroccan could be yet another extremely astute signing made by David Wagner and David Moss.
Despite being in a relatively early stage of his career, Abdelhamid Sabiri is unique as he is a prolific winger. Although it is a risk to bring the inexperienced Moroccan to England, I think it’s a calculated risk worth taking.