Should Spurs Target The 17-Year-Old Dubbed “The Next Eden Hazard”?

Bakkali Should Spurs Target.

The Premier League’s big four clubs are said to be hovering around PSV Eindhoven, as the race for their Belgian wonderkid – yes, another one – Zakaria Bakkali hots up. Both Manchester sides, as well as Chelsea and Arsenal, have been linked with the winger, who announced his arrival in the PSV side with a bang. Netting a hat trick on only his second start for the club, he became the youngest player ever to do so, aged just 17 and 196 days. With Bakkali impressing many, should Spurs consider signing the man dubbed “the next Eden Hazard”?

MOTM v NEC

Bakkali’s hat-trick against NEC Nijmegen broke Arjen Robben’s record of being the youngest player to score three goals in the Eredivisie. Producing what pretty much amounted to the perfect game, the youngster completed 91% of his passes and completed 89% of his take-ons, in addition to his hat-trick from the right-wing.

Zakaria Bakkali Take-Ons v N.E.C

Zakaria Bakkali Take-Ons v N.E.C

A direct winger who enjoys running at his opponent, he made eight successful take-ons – double the amount of the entire NEC team. As the map above shows, most of these took place in key areas around the opponent’s penalty area.  

Having produced such an explosive start to his PSV career, the youngster’s next task will be to show that it was no flash in the pan. Bakkali seems to possess the attributes to prevent this from happening. As his first goal against Nijmegen, was with his supposedly weak left-foot. Furthermore, Bakkali is comfortable in possession with both feet, and from either the left or right hand side of the pitch.

Zakaria Bakkali Shot Accuracy

His eye for goal is also impressive.  The three spectacular finishes for his hat-trick were no fluke. Bakkali has also already scored in Europe – in a Champions League qualifier. He also has an impressive shot accuracy. Of the eight shots he has taken in the league this season only one attempt has missed the target, whilst he also has the ability to shoot with either foot. Not bad for a 17-year-old.

Zakaria Bakkali Chances Created

Zakaria Bakkali Chances Created

Unusually for a player who can play either side, he provides genuine width to the team. Over the season so far, he has created eight chances. The map above shows the location of these chances, with most of them coming from wide areas

Zakaria Bakkali Passes

If there is a kink in the young man’s game it is his currently his ability to attack when he isn’t running at pace. Whilst he has completed 86% of his passes, 74.6% of these have been backwards, hinting at a lack of a plan B if a defender stands him up and doesn’t let him past.

Clearly, such criticism of a 17-year-old is nit-picking, but he is likely to benefit more from first team-football in Eindhoven than he is from cameos at a club like Spurs. Lacking the extra dimension for a top side’s first team, he would also find himself under more pressure if he were to move. It could be telling that he hasn’t scored since his explosive breakthrough game. He has the raw potential to live up to his billing as the next Hazard, but may benefit from a season of stability before the inevitable big move.

Win A Home AND Away Premier League Shirt Thanks To Our Friends At JD Sports!

Make Sure You Check Out @Squawka From 2pm Tomorrow For More Details.

Damian Buxton
Damian Buxton
Damian is a reformed politics graduate, but has jumped ship to his true calling of sports writing at Squawka. An FA-qualified referee and Gillingham fan, he is naively hoping that Gillingham one day get a Squawka stats page
View Damian Buxton's Posts »

Comments

Please consult these rules when commenting. These rules outline what is acceptable and unacceptable content on Squawka News. Note that these rules are subject to change at any time. Just like football.

See commenting rules
  1. Language

    Don't use swear words or profanity of any sort. Please refrain from insulting other users, everyone is entitled to their opinion and just because you shout the loudest, doesn't make you more correct or valid in your point of view. All insulting or offensive comments will be immediately removed.

  2. No libel or other abuse

    At no point should you be making comments which are:

    • defamatory, false or misleading;
    • insulting, threatening or abusive;
    • obscene or of a sexual nature;
    • offensive, racist, sexist, homophobic or discriminatory against any religions or other groups.

    We have an absolute zero tolerance policy on this. Football is the world's language.

  3. Report abuse

    If you see a comment not adhering to rules 1 & 2 please email [email protected] and this comment will be reviewed by a member of the Squawka editorial team.

  4. No third party promotion

    This comment section is here to let football fans talk about football, not to allow people to sell or push products. Any comment found peddling a third party will be immediately reviewed.

  5. No linking or copyright infringement

    You must not insert links to websites or submit content which would be an infringement of copyright.

  6. Play the game/Respect the game

    Please respect these rules when commenting on Squawka News; people will disagree from time to time but please try to see each other's point of view before getting all worked up, that helps no one.