Barrada can make Al Jazira fans forget Belhanda

Andy West

Attacking midfielder Abdelaziz Barrada has enjoyed an impressive rise in the last couple of seasons, having joined Madrid-based Getafe from Paris St Germain in 2010.

The France-born Moroccan international had failed to progress beyond PSG’s reserves and spent his first season in Spain delivering a series of strong performances for Getafe’s second string.

He earned his first full professional contract in March 2011 and soon progressed to Getafe’s first team, going on to make 32 league appearances in the 2011/12 campaign. But it was last season that saw Barrada’s reputation seriously rise, starting off in fine fashion with a match-winning goal and eye-catching all-round performance against Real Madrid in the second game of the season.

The 24-year-old continued to play a key role in low-budget Getafe’s unexpectedly strong mid-table season, generally performing as a central playmaker but also capable of operating from either wing.

€10m man Barrada fits the bill for new-look Al Jazira

Barrada’s strong early season form resulted in him being linked with a number of English Premier League clubs ahead of the January transfer window, including Arsenal and Everton, but he stayed with Getafe and ended up starting more league games for the club than any other outfield player, achieving more than respectable tallies of four goals and six assists.

Amidst continuing interest from many clubs across Europe, Barrada’s signing is something of a coup for Al Jazira, whose fans will enjoy watching a versatile, skillful and direct player who also performs with intensity and wholehearted effort.

Barrada is an established international for Morocco, playing all three games in his country’s unsuccessful group stage challenge at last summer’s Olympic Games in London.

The midfielder started each match and scored in the opening 2-2 draw against Honduras at Glasgow’s Hampden Park. He’s also been an important member of Morocco’s World Cup qualifying bid, scoring in last month’s 2-0 victory over Gambia, although his hopes of travelling to Brazil next summer have been dashed with the Ivory Coast already securing the group.

Jazira fans should not worry about that though as the club have won the race for a quality player.


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