Spurs missed out on 'new Gattuso' Sofyan Amrabat but he could soon strengthen Liverpool
Before the World Cup began, very few people would have picked Sofyan Amrabat to be one of its stars.
The Fiorentina midfielder has been an essential part of Morocco’s run to the last four, where they face France for a place in the final.
GettyAmrabat has impressed with his brilliant work off the ball and efficient work on it
The Atlas Lions made history when they beat Portugal in the quarter-finals to become the first African nation to make it to the semis of a World Cup.
And Amrabat has been an integral part of that run.
Born in the Netherlands, his older brother, Nordin, played for Watford between 2016 and 2018 and he could follow in his footsteps in moving to England.
In fact, he could already be in the Premier League had Tottenham not pulled the plug on a deal in January.
Talks were progressing quickly for the midfielder to join Antonio Conte’s men, but Spurs called the deal off and signed Rodrigo Bentancur instead.
Spurs won’t feel too bad considering Bentancur’s success, but Liverpool are now seriously considering a move for Amrabat.
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GettyAmrabat has been a monster in front of the Moroccan back four
Reports have emerged suggesting manager Jurgen Klopp wants to freshen up his midfield with the 26-year-old.
His Fiorentina contract expires in 2024 and the Serie A club have slapped a £25.7m price tag on his head.
But if he helps Morocco into the final, surely that will go up.
And his displays haven’t gone unnoticed in the football world, with former England manager Fabio Capello hailing Amrabat as one of Morocco’s most important players and the ‘Gennaro Gattuso‘ of the Atlas Lions.
Amrabat has been an exceptional screen in front of Morocco’s back four
That is some praise, given Gattuso’s reputation, and Morocco have only conceded one goal throughout the tournament, which was an own goal.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Kevin De Bruyne and Pedri all tried and failed to unlock this defence, and Amrabat played a large part in keeping De Bruyne and Pedri quiet.
After the last 16 win over Spain, opposition manager Luis Enrique revealed his admiration for Amrabat and described him as ‘extraordinary‘.
And his statistics from this tournament both on and off the ball make for some reading.
AFPMorocco have seen off Spain and Portugal to get to the World Cup semi-final
In five World Cup appearances so far, he has averaged a pass success rate of 84.4 per cent from an average of 37.2 passes per game, which is impressive given Morocco haven’t had a lot of the ball.
But when the team have had it, Amrabat has looked after it and dictated things from deep.
However, his real value comes off the ball.
He has made 41 recoveries across just five games, indicating he has provided great cover for the defence.
And in duels, he has rarely lost out, so he would definitely be able to cope with the physical demands of the Premier League.
What makes his role in the team even more important is the fact that teammates Nayef Aguerd and Noussair Mazraoui haven’t played every game, while Romain Saiss is also carrying an injury.
This block against Spain is just one of several key moments from Amrabat at the World Cup
So, he is having to work even harder with several first-choice defenders out or struggling.
And former Chelsea and West Ham man Joe Cole drooled over his performance against Spain.
“Amrabat, outstanding. As good a holding midfielder we’ve seen at the tournament in terms of defensive instinct.”
This praise from two top managers and a former Premier League and England player shows Amrabat is worth the hype and a big move is destined to happen.
And Moroccan journalist, Amine El Amri, told talkSPORT Amrabat has been the best midfielder at the World Cup.
“Sofyan Amrabat is a great footballer in addition to being a raging bull.
“I’m trying to be as objective as I can, but I think he’s been the best midfielder in this World Cup.
“I have nothing but respect for guys like Luka Modric, Marcelo Brozovic and Rodrigo De Paul and many others, but I think he’s been absolutely the best player in midfield in this World Cup.”
GettyAmrabat has received praise from all over after five top displays
But before any transfer, he has to help the Atlas Lions beat France and make it to the World Cup final to face Croatia or Argentina.
Morocco is a French-speaking country and is a former colony of France – coach Walid Regragui was born in France – so the connection between the two is strong.
But Amrabat has already shut out some of the world’s best players and he will be relied upon to do the same on Wednesday.
He is likely to be marking Antoine Griezmann, who has been one of the tournament’s best players and has evaded all of his markers so far.
Griezmann is incredibly intelligent, but if anyone can track him, Amrabat can.
In a player’s career, we often look back at defining moments when they realised their potential and became known to the world. Amrabat has done this regardless of the result on Wednesday night.
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Originally Posted By Talk Sport