5 Algerian Players Who Will Earn Money Moves This Summer on Back of World Cup
Interest in Algerian players is high following the Desert Foxes’ excellent summer showing in Brazil. The North Africans were defeated—narrowly—by Belgium but still advanced from Group H behind the Red Devils after securing four points from matches with South Korea and Russia.
Their 4-2 victory over the Koreans represented the first-ever time that an African nation had scored four goals in a World Cup match.
In their second-round match—their first-ever knockout match at a World Cup—Algeria held soon-to-be world champions Germany for 92 minutes until extra-time goals from Andre Schurrle and Mesut Ozil put the Mannschaft into the quarter-finals.
Centre-back Rafik Halliche has already secured a move abroad, signing with Qatar Sports Club, and don’t be surprised to see one or two of his teammates also make big-money transfers before the window closes.
Here are five Algerian World Cup stars set to earn big moves this summer.
Yacine Brahimi’s eclectic talents haven’t always been trusted by Vahid Halilhodzic. The playmaker started only two of Algeria’s last seven pre-World Cup games and was overlooked altogether for the Desert Foxes’ tournament opener against Belgium.
He demonstrated his myriad qualities in Les Fennecs’ second Group H game against South Korea, however, making the most of his starting role to leave a lasting impression.
He scored after a delicious one-two with Sofiane Feghouli and also provided the assist for another Algerian goal in an influential showing.
In La Liga, he hasn’t always managed to find consistency but still was able to contribute match-winning displays against Malaga, Elche and Barcelona last season.
Goalkeeper Rais M’Bolhi was one of the revelations of the tournament. He, along with Vincent Enyeama, went a long way to exploding the outdated “kamikaze African goalkeepers” stereotype and underpinned a fine defensive display for the North Africans.
Not only did M’Bolhi display excellent reflexes and shot-stopping skills, he also demonstrated an impressive ability to manage his defence and organise those ahead of him.
Le Buteur, referencing Bulgarian newspaper 7 Days Sport, notes that an agreement is already in place between the keeper’s current club CSKA Sofia and Turkish giants Trabzonspor.
Algeria’s World Cup coach, Vahid Halilhodzic, has recently taken over at the Black Sea Storm and appears keen to recruit his national team's stopper.
Playmaker Sofiane Feghouli was one of only two Algeria players who started every game in Brazil, and he was the only North African star to feature for every minute of the Desert Foxes’ campaign.
He also earned and scored Algeria’s penalty against Belgium having been brought down by Jan Vertonghen.
Currently plying his trade with Valencia in La Liga, the attacking midfielder showed enough qualities in Brazil to attract the attentions of several major clubs.
Lee Roden of TalkSPORT acknowledged that Liverpool’s Brendan Rodgers was “eyeing up” the player, while Spanish newspaper Superdeporte reports (via Tom Conn of Inside Spanish Football) that AC Milan will offer €12 million to snare the former France under-21 star.
Parma's Djamel Mesbah and his compatriot Faouzi Ghoulam shared the privilege and the responsibility of occupying Algeria’s left-back spot during the World Cup.
Ghoulam started against Belgium and Germany, and Mesbah started the two less-demanding games against Russia and South Korea.
The former Milan player deserves credit for remaining an integral part of the Algerian team for the time being, as the 23-year-old Ghoulam has been growing in prominence and looks to be the future of the team’s defence.
Mesbah’s encouraging showings have, however, generated some interest for his services.
Sky Sport Italia [via Le Temps d’Algerie] reports that officials from Ligue 1 side LOSC Lille have approached the versatile player’s agent with the hope of luring him to France.
Midfielder Saphir Taider could have chosen to represent Tunisia at senior level. The Internazionale star played for the Eagles of Carthage at youth level, and his brother, Nabil, has also represented the North African national side.
One suspects that the younger Taider is delighted with his choice of Algeria following the Desert Foxes’ excellent summer in Brazil.
The central midfielder himself was in fine form, dovetailing well with Nabil Bentaleb, a new addition to the squad, and enjoying the freedom afforded him in the second-round clash with Germany.
Taider excels at linking defence and attack and would be a valuable asset to any club prepared to recruit him from Inter, where he only made 13 starts last season (via Whoscored.com). The arrival of Yann M’Vila threatens to push him even further to the peripheries of the side.