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Ahmed Touba, the rising man

This summer, DZfoot offers you a series of articles specially dedicated to the Greens of the world. This time, it’s Ahmed Touba’s turn to be the center of attention.

He was born in Belgium, played in France, had his first full season in Bulgaria before breaking through in the Netherlands to finally sign this summer in Turkey, but his roots are on the side of Biskra where he likes to go and recharge his batteries. Ahmed Touba is, at 24, the rising value of the defensive sector of an Algerian selection that he joined just a year ago.

A slow learning curve

Like many players of his generation, he has been scrutinized for years, having been international with young Belgians before starting, at 18, in the pros with Club Brugge. Recognized talent, he was however slow to confirm and find his favorite position. Indeed, before signing his first professional contract, he will thus have passed through five different clubs during his training years, including in particular Standard de Liège or Valenciennes, but it is ultimately in Bruges that he will pass the last stage. of learning.

Noticed with the club’s U19s, notably in the UEFA Youth League (equivalent to the Champions League for the U19s) a year after joining his new team, he was regularly called up with the seniors during the regular season but never left the bench. touches. It will thus finally be necessary to wait for the play-offs so that Michel Preud’homme does not launch him for three tenures as a left back.

Brugge finished second in the championship and qualified for the preliminary round of the Champions League. Ahmed Touba’s career is finally launched… or almost.

The 2017/2018 season begins with a double confrontation against the Turks of Basaksehir. Ivan Leko, the new coach of his club, establishes him as a left midfielder in the second leg but the CB will finally be eliminated in the last qualifying round of the Europa League. If Bruges will finally finish champion, Touba will only play 94 minutes in all and will even have to have hip surgery…

Back off to better blow up

Everything has to be done again. Ahmed Touba was then loaned to Leuven, in the second division, where he only played nine short games… but was beginning to adapt to this position as left-back. He is in the trough of the wave when he is loaned again, this time in Bulgaria, to Beroe. A new surprise awaits him there since he will play as central defender with a certain brilliance: thus, holder from October, he will not leave the team for a single minute.

His performances are such that they earned him a return to selection, since he was called up with the Belgium U21s, as well as a three-year contract with RKC Waalwijk in Eredivisie (D1 of the Netherlands) even though that which bound him to Bruges expired in a year and that he no longer seemed desired.

He is again a starter throughout the season as a central defender and will score three goals including a sublime volley against Emmen. His performances are such that he even arouses the greed of Roberto Martinez, the coach of the Red Devils, one of the best selections in the world… but at 23, Touba has made his choice: it will be the Algerian selection for him, although he will not show his jersey for the first time until June 2021, in a friendly against Mauritania (4-1 victory) at the Mustapha Tchaker stadium. Holder in the axis alongside Abdelkader Bedrane, he will also offer a decisive pass to Sofiane Feghouli.

A certain future in EN?

Then in full ascent, the international career of the native of Brussels seemed launched, all the more with the poor form then the injury of Benlamri… but Djamel Belmadi will maintain his confidence in his defender then, behind him, in Abdelkader Bedrane. Touba will only be entitled to thirty minutes against Djibouti, then will remain on the bench for six games in qualifying for the World Cup. He will not play the sad CAN in Cameroon either since he is injured in club at that time and Mehdi Tahrat replaces him.

It will therefore be necessary to wait for the return match in the play-off against the Indomitable Lions for Belmadi to decide to give him another chance, his meager playing time in the National Team having given rise to many rumors (which ranged from a dispute with the coach to the player’s desire to finally represent Belgium). Against Cameroon, it will take him less than ten minutes to score the equalizing goal synonymous with the World Cup. The story seemed very good, but his career is definitely a catalog of false take-offs since he will ultimately see no more than his teammates at the World Cup in Qatar.

At 24, Ahmed Touba is on the way to becoming a full member of Djamel Belmadi’s new group which made him play last June in central defense against Uganda and then as a left-back against Iran. If the position of side is ultra competitive, especially with the irremovable Bensebaïni and the potential arrival of Aït Nouri, this is not the case for that of central defender left axis where he could clearly have his card to play. His agreement with Aïssa Mandi, which remains indisputable, seems in any case promising.

Algeria aside, Ahmed Touba, after two good seasons with the modest team of Waalwijk, saw his name begin to be mentioned everywhere in Europe. Feyenoord, Seville, Lyon, Marseille, all these important clubs on the European scene have been linked to Touba, who will finally decide to join Turkey and Başakşehir, President Erdogan’s club which finished 4th and should compete in the Europa League at best this season. next.

If this transfer is somewhat disappointing, it could be part of the logic of continuous progression of a player with certain talent but with slow evolution. It’s up to him to demonstrate his abilities again in Istanbul, especially since in selection, the period is ideal for settling in and gaining confidence in a renewed team which will not play in a major competition before 2024.



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