Adam Ounas Picks Algeria Over France as the Winger Sets His Eyes on a Promising Future
In the wake of a devastating Gabon 2017 Africa Cup of Nation (AFCON) preparation and Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier following coach Milovan Rajevac’s resignation, Algeria may have something to smile about after Adam Ounas was cleared by FIFA to play for the North African side against Nigeria, next month. The world football governing body approved the sensational 19-year-old’s change of international allegiance.
Algeria Football Federation (FAF) announced, “Adan Ounas has officially opted to play for Algeria and his eligibility papers have been sent through to FIFA.”
Ounas currently playing for French Ligue 1 side, Bordeaux, chose to play his senior international football for Algeria over his country of birth, France. The attacking midfielder’s choice to play for Algeria is a major boost for the side over the fact that he (Ounas), played for France’s U20 youth team.
The player took time off during the last international break to get official formalities out of the way and was also present in the stands during Algeria’s 1-1 draw at home to Cameroon, at the Mustapha Tchaker stadium in Blida.
Ounas’ anticipated debut is expected on November 12, when Algeria takes on World Cup qualifier group leader, Nigeria.
A rising star
Ounas has risen up the ranks of French football and the wonder kid is viewed as one of the best young prospects in European football. He joined Bordeaux back in 2013 after making a mark on its B team and has since then, progressed.
The winger’s ability to attempt to shoulder Bordeaux’s attacking charge even without fear for an inexperienced player, is formidable. Ounas has shown tremendous growth displayed by his dribbling capabilities, pace, trickery and the ability to sought out his teammates for the next best option, much to the delight of his club and supporters.
It is estimated that the Franco-Algeria trickster who broke into the Ligue 1 scene in 2015/16, could be priced at at least $27m after gathering interest from English football.
The left-footed winger drew interest from Manchester United in an exciting career development for the player, during the summer pre-season preparations. In June, Old Trafford Chiefs contacted the rising star of French football over the chance to play for the Red Devils. Southampton, Stoke City and Napoli were also reportedly interested options.
According to John Cross of the Daily Mirror, United planned on bringing the 19-year-old to England in an attempt to write a new chapter under Jose Mourinho.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”The Old Trafford Giants have made inquiries to Ounas’ representatives, but it could take a big offer to tempt Bourdeaux to sell,” Cross said. “United believe he could be one for the future, although he is currently tied to the Ligue 1 side on a contract that runs until 2019.”[/perfectpullquote]
Ounas went on to show his pleasure at the chance, causing excitement among Manchester United fans following his Twitter activity. The 19-year-old followed United’s official account, as well as Anthony Martial, Wayne Rooney and Marcus Rashford among others.
Optimism may apply after Ounas also followed Real Madrid, its coach, Zinedine Zidane, and Serie A champions, Juventus, on Twitter.
However, it may be challenging that Ounas does not spark as much needed attention as he should. England is to some consideration, unfamiliar to his abilities. At 19, first-team football is still at its growing stages for the young player hence, the low profile unlike many Ligue 1 big names that made an instant switch to English league.
But nothing should be written off just yet. Ounas, a graduate of Bordeaux academy, had his senior debut on October 4, 2015 and turned heads with a fine goal. Eventually, he was included in the first team set-up for the remainder of the season, finishing with five goals and two assists in 15 starts and eight substitute appearances.
Every 262 minutes was a goal for Ounas, an impressive record for an inexperienced payer positioned in and out of the side with the possibility of more assists, had his teammates managed to convert them into goals.
Ounas has the chance to be a great and dominant winger. He settles in well on the pitch when in position, like the ball is a part of him, adding to his ability to maneuver past opponents.
In February against Reims, he showed that confidence on the ball, scoring a delightful goal after perfectly receiving a pass with one touch, following a well-timed run to sign off with a clinical finish.
Algeria have surely won a jackpot in Ounas. The youngster is revered for his hard work and great attitude for a developing player.
Willy Sagnol – sacked in March – said, “In the youth academy the main problem (with Ounas) was his attitude, how hard he worked and how much he put in. He’s been part of the first-team set-up for several weeks now and it’s going well. He listens, his attitude has been excellent. If he wants to keep making progress he has to absolutely make sure he keeps this attitude.”
Ounas has also shown a great strength in versatility by operating on either flank or as a number ten. In addition to that, he has a clear understanding backed by ideas, about his best position.
Last October he said, “I’m most comfortable on the right wing. I prefer cutting in, shooting on goal or playing one-twos.
“I’d say my second-best position is playing centrally. When you play there you can feed the wingers. I have the vision to do that. The left wing is more for players that cross the ball into the box all the time.”
A partnership with Riyad Mahrez – also a sensational left-footed winger playing for English champions, Leicester City – should strongly impact Algeria’s attacking forefront.
But with a tough and slow qualifier ahead of Russia 2018 World Cup, what remains to be seen is a shocking upset by the North Africans to eventually make it to the finals. Nevertheless, the future for Algeria’s national team is gaining momentum as they look to regain continental stature and dominance.
Featured Photo: Adam Ounas has chosen to play for Algeria over France (GETTY IMAGES)