Zakaria Bakkali – the next rojiblanco?

Reports claim Belgian youngster on brink of move

Bakkali to join Atlético? (pic: enaft)

Bakkali to join Atlético? (pic: enaft)

Reports coming out of Spain and Holland report that Zakaria Bakkali will be the next new face at the Vicente Calderon.

Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf claim that Atlético Madrid have a had a bid in the region of €3 million accepted by PSV Eindhoven for the 18-year-old.

The Dutch clubs director, Marcel Brands, revealed that both clubs have reached an agreement but ‘Bakkali is yet to agree personal terms with Atlético’.

Zakaria Bakkali may not be well known to many but he is one of the best young talents in Europe. The Belgium born Moroccan started off his career at Standard Liege and was scouted and brought to the PSV academy at the age of 12.

After impressing at every level he finally broke through to the first team last year. Bakkali became the youngest ever player to score a hat trick in the Eredivise after netting three times against NEC Nijmegen.

It has been widely reported that Bakkali had a falling out with the higher ups at PSV and is the major reason why the club is allowing the starlet to leave.

The PSV director added ‘He started very well with us, but then had a setback. He made some wrong decisions, but I hope he makes the right one now’.

With the signing of Griezmann it is highly unlikely that Bakkali will be getting regular first team football as he is a winger and it is probable that he will be loaned out to a fellow La Liga club so that he can get accustomed to the playing and living style of Spain.

The arrival of Bakkali would be another positive signing and shows that Atleti have an eye on the future.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Well, It’s time for Atleti to have their share of Belgian young talents !
    and it could be a making up for our mistake for not signing Courtois in 2011

    and who knows, he could be the next Larbi Benbarek

  • Kris

    My guess for why Bakkali hasn’t agreed personal terms is because he was probably told he would be loaned out or asked to play for the second team to help improve them. Let’s see what happens though. I still believe we need 2-3 more offensive substitute signings for depth.

  • starvs

    I actually read somewhere that he had already been to Elche (his rumored loan destination) and saw the training ground and stuff and liked it, so I am not sure what you suggested is going on. But what I read could have been just rumor BS.

    He apparently has an attitude problem of some sorts, which I don’t really worry about with Cholo around.

  • Dircil

    Still we can rotate him with Griezmann! I don’t see why we can’t use them occasionally!

  • Chewie

    Because Cholo is not interested in growing talents, he’s interested in winning.

  • Adnan Khan

    Actually, i think he is intrestested in both. It’s just that the expectations on him is too high. And we can’t afford to rotate main players with youngsters as much as other teams.
    i just hope correa gain his strenght back and stays with us

  • Chewie

    Of course he is to some extent. But his primary goal is to win. And in a league with Real and Barcelona the stakes are high – one defeat might cost you the title. It is only natural that Simeone will use trusted players as much as he can, letting the youngsters play only when the game is done.

    Also I think he’ll use them the early stages of the Cup or the UCL group stage. Maybe after a year of intense training and occasional playing time they’ll develop in a top-class players and we’ll finally have a team of 18-20 interchangeable players. At least we’re going in the right direction.

  • Adnan Khan

    Yup, i agree on this 🙂

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I agree with some of what Chewie & Adnan said, El Cholo is mostly interested in wining, and we can’t afford rotation because we can’t afford losing points in a league that recently was won with 100 points

    But I think there is another reason for why we keep loaning young talents: the salaries
    We can’t afford a squad of 25 or even 23 players, especially after the salary raise for most of our key players this season, which is estimated at 15 million per season
    so, instead of paying a sum of 2 or 3 millions for 3 or 4 youngsters who will play 500-1000 minutes each, let’s loan them, get rid of their salaries, and even get some money and give them more playing time
    It’s a very good thinking, but there is only one thing that bothers me :
    The purchase options for our loanees

  • Kris

    Koke, man. Koke. I love this guy. Now I know whose name is going to be on the back of my new Atleti shirt.

    “The truth is that part of me said it was difficult to say no to Barca but I wanted to continue at home for many years at Atletico,” he told AS.

    “It wasn’t time to leave. This is my home, where I feel wanted and the club didn’t need to sell. How was I going to leave at the best time for Atletico?

    “It’s not easy to say no to Barca and their interest was appreciated. It means the work I’ve done has paid off. But I’m at home here.

    “I’m just another player at Atletico, a player who gives everything for his team and does what Simeone asks. I’m not the best or the flagship, the banner. The most important thing to me is to make a better Atletico and be a team player, which is ultimately what matters.

    “The new signings are great players, they’re all important and I believe they will all contribute a lot to the team. They hope to do things right and that is something Simeone values highly.”

  • BlasiusMagnus

    he’s gonna be a legend for us. gotta love this guy.

  • Chewie

    Hopefully he is. But I’m worried some money bags might pay the needed 60 millions and lure him away with a €10 million salary in a year or two.

  • Chewie

    From what I’ve read, the boy is full of shit. I personally don’t want to see undisciplined buffoons in the team. If we’re going to get him – I say loan him out, let him taste the Spanish league then spend a couple of months training with Simeone. And only then he’ll probably become rojiblanco material.

  • Erik

    Atletico could not sign Courtois, otherwise Atleti would have. Chelsea is going to hold on to him for as long as they can. The only way we will get Courtois back, is to see his contract run out in 2 years. But then Courtois will be courted by every power house futbol team in the world. We will have to wait and see. I agree that he was a HUGE loss to the team. The second biggest loss was Luis. I think Costa and Villa have been replaced by even better players. But we will have to wait and see.

  • Nothing new in the past days… Liverpool is about to make a good bid for 29yo Lavezzi. Some sources are reporting we’ll make a €30 million offer for Chicharito+Kagawa. Don’t know what else to expect.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I’m not talking about bringing him back, I’m talking about signing him in first place back in 2011
    we were competing with Chelsea for him, but we lost him for only 9 million, the amount Chelsea paid to Genk for him, and now we paid almost the double of that for Oblak
    of course we don’t know the circumstances back then, but I’m sure we could have tried harder

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I’ve been reading about our interest in Kagawa for a couple of days, and I really like the idea
    I’m not talking on sport level -although he is a great player- but about the economic level
    Signing a Japanese player will give us an advertisement boost

    a country with 127 million people, 21 million of them are active facebook users, and a little more than that number are active twitter users
    a country with a lot of football fans, enthusiastic and rich ones who buy club T-shirts and other products and even pay for club membership

    I remember reading several years ago that Man Utd have signed the Korean player Park Ji-Sung (then the Japanese Kagawa) for the same economic and advertisement reasons

  • Chewie

    I read that too about Ji-Sung and Kagawa and this may be one of the reasons they won’t let the Japanese go. I also was surprised to learn that Kei Nishikori, no. 11 tennis player in the world, is one of the most fincancially successful players on tour not because of his victories but because he is the only Japanese player around the top 10 or even 50. So I like the idea of having a nationally diverse team as long as it doesn’t hurt the game.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I think after the disastrous last season, van Gaal will only care about titles, and if he is not going to use Kagawa he will let him go

  • Abdullah Karam

    Hello guys ,, Am reading some stuff about OBLAK that he is injured !!! Is this real??
    Please anybody know anything about this?? Its bathering me cuz he is young , good and 16 Million goali :”(

  • BlasiusMagnus

    he has problems with his hip

  • Chewie

    Even if Oblak is injured, we are lucky enough to have a reliable sub goalie in Moya.

  • Kris

    IMO, One of the worse decisions by the board this transfer window to let go of Manquillo….or maybe I’m just being pessimistic and this all works out with Manquillo gaining lots of experience in rough n tough BPL. We’ll see what happens. Hopefully there’s no option for Liverpool to sign him after this season. Good luck Manqui.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I think you feel like what I feel, I’m afraid that he is not coming back
    Livepool could like him and he could like it there (and he would be a fool if he didn’t)
    and I’m sorry to upset you, but Liverpool do have a purchase option, said to be 7.5 million, but it’s after the second season, since he signed for 2 seasons (so don’t wait for him next season)

    But I really don’t know if the purchase option means that we are forced to sell if the second party decided to activate it ?!
    Please, if anybody knows the answer, tell us

    The good news is that we also have a buy-back option, like what Real Madrid did with Carvajal and Morata, and it’s also said to be 7.5 million !!
    Some weird stuff .. as we used to from Gil & Cerezo

  • But I really really think there’s a buying option.
    I just don’t see why let Manquillo leave and buy Jesús Gámez (29yo) from Málaga.

  • AndersAT

    What about the schurrle story? I think he would be great in the counterattacking game, but then again, we are already deadly in that part of the game. We lack somewhat against teams that stand back and wait. We could se that in the last games that almost cost us the titel… But interesting!

  • Chewie

    BS. There’s no way we can sign Schurrle.

  • Chewie

    A few quick notes on the Galatasaray game:
    Siqueira is really fast. Good dribbler as well. Though in defense he fouls more than wins the ball cleanly. He constantly offers himself to partners but most of the time they choose to play through Juanfran who looks very confident but has problems with delivery, making awful crosses.
    Moya doesn’t look as solid as I thought. He almost made a stupid and costly mistake. Seems like he has good technique and reflexes but lacks some of the mental qualities of a top keeper.
    Mandzukic is holding back yet there are moments when his class becomes obvious. He seems like a smart player, knowing how to pressure the opponents and position himself.
    So far the performance has been unimpressive, to say the least. But we have to keep in mind it’s +32 degrees out there, which is insane.

  • Mrtn

    I think Cholo let him go for a good reason.
    The fact that Cholo even preferred to sign a substitute of Zenit (or Gamez) for being a substitute of Juanfran instead of trying Manqui again speaks for itself.
    At the age of 20 a talented player should be ready to play for a first division club and compete for a place.
    Pool might have an option to buy him, but I doubt he can overcome Johnson (or even Flanagan) and be a starter there. Although, PL is all about running up and down like beheaded chickens, probably this suits him more.
    Last but not least, Manqui is a madridista, and I don’t think his dream is to play for Atletico…to say the least.
    If he would be any good, Cholo would kept him I think.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    very good analysis
    about Siqueira, I remember that many people here talked about that he is not strong defensively as he is offensively

    I don’t know if I mentioned this statistic before :
    in the last 5 seasons, 4 with Granada and 1 with Benfica, he saw the yellow card 45 times and the red one 11 times, only one was a direct red and 10 were for the second yellow, so you are damn right, “in defense, he fouls more than wins the ball cleanly”
    adding the 10 2nd yellows to the 45 make them 55, an average of 11 yellow per season .. sounds a lot, but hey, let’s see how many yellows our back 4 have seen last season :
    Godin 15, Juanfran 14, Miranda 9, Filipe 8

    so maybe Siqueira is within our average in yellow cards, but what looks very bad are the 10 expulsions for the 2nd yellow, make him look reckless and not smart, but I believe his teammates will help him come over that

  • Chewie

    Interesting statistics, as always. First impressions are not always wrong, then. By the way, in the second half Ansaldi came in and brought with him an air of confidence. I’m not talking in sporting terms here, but the guy acted like he owned the flank. He didn’t try to impress anyone with his skills, just did what he had to, calmly and effectively. He lost a couple of challenges but overall I’d prefer him instead of Siqueira, especially in important games.

    Saul had a nice performance and Hector didn’t spoil the game too. Seems like our youngsters are ready – or almost ready – to play at the highest level.

  • Kris

    Ansaldi is definition of a great defensive full back. And I would say Saul is pretty much ready to play at the highest now. The kid will grow so much. He has so much potential and he just loved to play. I think defense will probably improve or atleast be the same as last season from what I have seen so far but when are the goals going to start coming!! I want the ‘wingers’ Arda and Koke to start taking shots in games. They need to start creating chances by shooting at the goal too. Who knows, maybe their shot will rebound and Mandzukic is there at the right time to take the rebounded shot. We just got to wait and see what Simeone has in store for the competitive games,..,

  • Kulan

    There will surely be atleast one more offensive signing. Do you have a “realistic” dream-signing?

  • Chewie

    No dream-signings, anyone with class and good sportmanship will do. Chicharito, Torres, Cerci, Gaitan, Kagawa – all are good candidates.