At the tender age of 21 (it’s his birthday today), Amine Harit Is already being touted as ‘the new Zidane’ after completing his first season at Schalke.
Harit made his move to the Bundesliga runners-up at the start of the 2017-18 season competing for a place against Leon Goretzka, Franco di Santo and Max Meyer for his favoured CAM spot. He may not have expected to get a staring role in his first season, but got his opportunity in Domenico Tedesco experimental 3-4-1-2 or 3-1-4-2 side with Max Meyer moving into a Xabi Alonso style quarterback role – allowing him to take a more central role with Goretzeka.
Like Zidane, Harit’s strength is with the ball. His dribbling, pace and ball carrying ability allow his team to transition quickly from defence to attack – key to Tedesco’s counter-attacking style of play. Harit can also play left or right as an inside forward when Schalke play a 4-3-3, with Tedesco using wing-backs to provide width.
At the World Cup Morocco with likely play with a back 3, with Harit either deployed as an inside forward or at wing-back. His experience working with Tedesco will be key for Morocco – especially with them expected to play on the counter against Spain and Portugal.
As a nod to his wonderful season, Harit was voted Bundesliga rookie of the year and it was well deserved. As runners-up to Bayern, Schalke is guaranteed Champions League football which will give the young midfielder another chance to show the World how good he is. He’s got at least two more attempts to show the world for the first time and a man-of-the-match against Iran – despite the result – isn’t a bad start.