The Swedish top flight started off their season Sunday, where several Moroccans will try to put their stamp on the league.
Sunday afternoon, the Swedish Allsvenskan opened the 2018 season as Häcken hosted Kalmar in Gothenburg. This year we will have what I will assume is a record amount of Moroccans playing in the league, with four players spread across four different clubs.
Moestafa El Kabir (29 – Attacking midfielder – Häcken)
The Dutch Moroccan, born in Targuist, returned to Häcken only a couple of days before the season. His time with Turkish side Antalyaspor was not ideal, as the club had a lot of problems off the field and got rid of several key players in January. He will now have the chance to revive his career at the club where he scored 25 goals in 42 games a couple of years ago. It didn’t go to bad in the league opening, where he came on after 72 minutes and scored the game winning goal from the penalty spot only three minutes later. Hopefully that was one of many this season.
Omar Eddahri (27 – Striker – Sirius)
Watch out for this guy! A late bloomer, spending most of his career in the 2nd and 3rd level of Swedish football, Eddahri caught the eye of many in his first Allsvenskan season with newly promoted AFC Eskilstuna last year. But his eight goals as captain of the team couldn’t help them from getting relegated and it was clear that he needed to play at the highest level. After being linked to several clubs, both in Sweden and abroad, Eddahri chose IK Sirius, who finished 7th in the league last year. We are looking forward to seeif he can follow up on last year’s impressive season.
Younes Bnou Marzouk (22 – Striker – Dalkurd)
In what probably was the most surprising January transfer involving a Moroccan, former Juventus talent, Bnou Marzouk, was loaned out from Swiss Super League club Lugano to newly promoted Dalkurd. The 13 year old club, originally founded as a social project for youth in Borlänge by Kurds, are playing their first season in the top flight and hope that Bnou Marzouk can be the striker who will secure their spot.
The French-born striker scored three goals for Morocco in the U17 World Cup five years ago and was predicted to be the Atlas Lions’ next big goalscorer. On loan with Chiasso in the Swiss Challenge League, he scored 12 goals in 18 games, but he disappointed in Belgium with Westerlo and have not impressed since he was bought by Lugano. But Bnou Marzouk is still only 22 and a season with a promoted club who will put their faith in him, could be good for his development.
Amin Affane (24 – Attacking midfielder – IFK Göteborg)
A make or break season for the former wonder kid, who has represented Sweden at youth level, but is still eligible for Morocco. Bought in January by Swedish giants IFK for about €100k from fierce rivals AIK, Affane will have all eyes on him this season. At the age of 16, he joined Chelsea from local club Lärje-Angereds, attracting interest from the likes of Real Madrid, Man United and Juventus, and was loaned out to Roda in Eresdivisie. However he was sent back to London months later after falling out of favour in the first team.
After transferring to Energie Cottbus in 2013, he had short spells in the German lower leagues , before finally returning to Sweden two years ago. Affane featured regularly during his two seasons with AIK, but was homesick and wanted to return to Gothenburg, where he grew up. Now, 24 years of age, he has no excuses and needs to deliver the goods in hopes of one day getting the chance abroad again.