Morocco's Abdelhamid Sabiri joins football's Premier League... at Huddersfield

Morocco's Abdelhamid Sabiri joins football's Premier League... at Huddersfield
2 min read
23 Aug, 2017
This 20-year-old striker is a little-known talent that has yet to play in any international or top-level matches, notes Uri Levy.
Abdelhamid Sabiri just signed with Huddersfield Town [YouTube]

Huddersfield Town, the Premier League's latest arrivals, have signed Nuremberg forward Abdelhamid Sabiri for an undisclosed fee - rumoured to be around a million pounds - on a three-year deal.

The 20-year-old Moroccan has only played in nine senior games, in Germany's second flight division, the Bundesliga 2 - but managed to score five goals and win three man-of-the-match awards anyway.

Sabiri, who was born in Goulmima, Morocco, emigrated to Germany as a three-year-old child, and is a unique talent in the Premier League's view. He's not been part of Barcelona or Real Madrid's youth teams; he's a young and raw diamond with no experience of any European top-league competition.

He is also yet to feature for either of the national teams for whom he's eligible to play.

Sabiri started his youth career in TuS Koblentz, moved to Darmstadt, and Sportfreunde Siegen. After a terrific first season of 17 goals in 30 matches, he was signed by Nuremberg.

Watch now: Huddersfield's latest signing, Abdelhamid Sabiri

Sabiri is a strong forward with exceptional explosive potential, and has scored 34 goals from his 60 games.

Huddersfield manager David Wagner said: "When I have talked to him, I have been very impressed by how desperate he is to join our club and prove himself at Premier League level.

"He is still learning the game and his space to develop is huge."

Sabiri is joining a lucrative clan of Middle Eastern footballers in the Premier League.

While Riyad Mahrez and Mohamad Salah are the most famed members of the list, Sabiri will be playing against some interesting figures.

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Turkish-born Ilkay Gundogan plays midfield for Manchester City. Tomer Hemed of Israel plays up front for Brighton and Hove Albion ahead of midfield general Beram Kayal, an Arab citizen of Israel.

Then there are Egyptians Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal), Ahmed Hegazy (West Brom) and Ramadan Sobhi (Stoke), Algeria's Islam Slimani (Leicester), Morocco's Ibrahim Afellay (Stoke), Nacer Chadli (West Brom), Sofiane Boufal (Southamptin) and Noureddine Amrabat (Watford).

The switch from second division football in Germany to the spotlight of English football will be a hard step to take, but the young Moroccan will be looking to develop constantly in order to get his chances in the best league in Europe.

Uri Levy runs the popular football blog BabaGol, which covers football and politics focusing on the Middle East. Follow him on Twitter, and read his blog here.