Rachad Fettal Dhimi: Almeria’s new Darwin Núñez by Lions Talk

Rachad Fettal Dhimi: Almeria’s new Darwin Núñez by Lions Talk

2022/2023 was a season to remember for those who follow Spanish youth football. Also thanks to a small Andalusian club Almeria, which was able to write history and reach the final of the Copa del Rey U-19. An achievement that the fans won’t forget for a long time. Nor the man who was the absolute star of this team – Rachad Fettal Dhimi.

21/22 – Juvenil B: When he first joined the club at 2020, no one expected his crazy explosion. He scored an amazing amount of 36 goals in only 26 games. A goal every 59 minutes without even counting plenty of assists he also provided.

His great performances have not gone unnoticed by the club. At just 16, the young striker made his professional debut for Almeria B in the 4th division.

A great season that Rachad finished as a top scorer and Liga Nacional champion, but also with some appearances for the reserves and U-19 team, where he wrote history the season after.

22/23 – Juvenil A: A brace at the start of the league. A superb derby goal against Sevilla – one of the best youth academies in Spain… A game after game Rachad will end up the season as the league’s top scorer.

But the most impressive was his Copa del Rey campaign. A great start with a brace against Elche in the first round, a winning goal against Alaves in the next round, a 93rd minute winner in the semi final, and a goal against Real Madrid in the final.

A great season that got him a call up with Spain U18 to face Italy, where he showed his quality again. Scoring a goal only 10 minutes after coming on. Something he will repeat again against Switzerland just three days later – another great goal just 10 minutes after coming off the bench.

Rachad’s goal against Switzerland U18s.

“I’m a fast and strong striker, who loves to have the ball, but also who knows how to read spaces and lose my marker… If I had to name one striker that I’m similar to at the moment, I would say Erling Haaland.”

This is how Rachad spoke about himself.

He’s a strong and tall classic number 9, natural goalscorer with fantastic instinct and finishing skills in the penalty area.

A relentless striker fueled by an unwavering fighting spirit, combined with an unrelenting work ethic and intense pressure on the field.

While proficient with his feet, he truly shines as an aerial force, making him a formidable presence in the air. Engaging in an aerial duel against him is a daunting challenge. Thanks to that, he’s also extremely dangerous during set pieces.

He’s very prolific with his back to goal, knows how to use his body and physical strength to shield the ball away from defenders to link or hold up play.

His exceptional spatial awareness comes to the fore when he anticipates and receives through balls, displaying a remarkable sense of positioning and pace.

Player Matrix:

Ball control: 7/10
Speed: 9/10
Finishing: 10/10
Dribbling: 6/10
Short passing: 7/10
Set pieces:9/10
Long passing: 6/10
Vision: 7/10
Off the ball: 9/10
Decision making: 9/10
Positioning: 9/10
Bravery: 9/10
Heading: 10/10
Defensive work rate: 7/10
Defensive reliability: 5/10
Leadership skills: 8/10

Rachad loses his markers, makes a good run, and scores with a clinical finish.

Rachad with a 93rd minute header in the Copa del Rey Juvenil semi final.

Rachad wins the ball back after good pressing, dribbles past the goalkeeper, and scores.

Rachad with another superb header after a corner kick.

“We’ve witnessed a lineage of exceptional strikers at Almeria such as Darwin Núñez and El Bilal Touré – and currently, we’re fortunate to have Rachad emerging from our youth academy.” – Almeria’s CEO Mohmmed El Assy via GoalAr.

Darwin Núñez’s €34 million move to Benfica, Umar Sadiq’s €20 million transfer to Real Sociedad. Most recently, El Bilal Touré’s prowess led to a significant €31 million deal with Atalanta. Almeria has undeniably become a nurturing ground for burgeoning striker talent in recent times. With Rachad poised to continue this trend, he is anticipated to not only shine on the sporting front but also emerge as a lucrative asset for the club, both in terms of skill and financial gains.

Final note: 9/10

Undoubtedly, one of the most promising young strikers in Spain, poised with abundant potential to evolve into a formidable force in the realm of strikers in the coming years.

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