As deadline day kicked off Hamburger SV managed to buy the Swedish international Nabil Bahoui from Saudi club Al-Ahli and signed him up on a contract until 2018. Who is Nabil Bahoui? What are his strenghts and weaknesses? How will he improve his new club. As a self-proclaimed expert on Sweden, here's my take on this surprising signing.
Born in Stockholm, Sweden, to Morrocoan parents, he started to play football for Mälarhöjdens IK. After switching clubs a few times he ended up at Brommapojkarna IK where he began to impress and made the difference in the final of Juniorallsvenskan, the biggest youth tournament in Sweden, and was called up to Brommapojkarna's first team, where he didn't manage to get enough playing time, but scored twice in his first season in the Swedish top-flight. Thus, he was loaned out to AFC Väsby United and shortly began to impress. After returning from loan, he played a season for Brommapojkarna and then the Swedish giants AIK found out about him and contacted his club in order to secure his signature, which they managed to do in 2013. Bahoui was 21 years old when he made his AIK-debut and impressed once again as his team prospered with him on the wing and would have won Allsvenskan, the Swedish top-flight, had not Malmö FF been supreme. While he was often deployed as a left winger at Brommapojkarna, AIK used him either as an attacking midfielder or as a striker in a 4-4-2 system. After scoring 26 times in 64 games for AIK he moved to Saudi club Al-Ahli, a move he was criticized for with media stating that Bahoui's future development as a player would be halted if he moved to a lesser league. Nevertheless, the move went through and Nabil Bahoui's new home was Jeddah in the western part of Saudi Arabia.
"A quick winger with an eye for goal" would be accurate words to describe the Swede and even though his technichal ability on the ball is impressive, his understanding of the game and intelligent runs is what has earned him his international caps for Sweden. Often deployed as a winger for the national team he has impressed massively, thus being criticized by the Swedish experts when moving to Al-Ahli as he is one of the most interesting players in Swedish football. The same experts will be pleased and thrilled to see him move to one of the more impressive sides in Bundesliga this season, Hamburger SV. Bahoui's negative side is perhaps his defensive contribution, but that won't boyther his new club too much as he was bought to contribute in attack, not defensively. In defence, fellow Swede Albin Ekdal will cover for him when returning from injury.
Axel Falk, editor and co-creator of Fresh off the Gegenpress.
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