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OM: Azzedine Ounahi, bluff or real talent?

OM: Azzedine Ounahi, bluff or real talent?

Moroccan midfielder Azzedine Ounahi (28 caps, 4 goals) has been a disappointment since his arrival at Olympique de Marseille, and is steadily losing ground with the Marseille fans. Management are already beginning to listen to offers for his departure this summer.

It's a long way from the young hopeful who impressed Spain coach Luis Enrique after a World Cup Round of 8 victory in Qatar. Azzedine Ounahi is playing his last cards close to the vest. His future with Olympique de Marseille is on the line after a series of disappointing performances. The Moroccan midfielder is still unable to find his place after arriving in January 2023 from Angers. While OM's former coaches have been blamed for this, supporters have been coming to their senses of late. His performance in the 3-1 defeat by Lille on Friday April 5 did nothing to help matters.

The Atlas Lion has been the target of virulent attacks in the French media. On the After Foot show, journalist Daniel Riolo pulled out all the stops and even went so far as to say that the 23-year-old is not at Ligue 1 level: "It's over. Who hopes for this player? He's burnt out. Ounahi, he arrived with a boulevard impossible when he doesn't have the level of National," declared Daniel Riolo on the airwaves of RMC. Nabil Djellit, known as the biggest defender of North African players in France, expresses his frustration at Azzedine Ounahi's inability to perform. "Ounahi, for too long we've said nothing. nHe's below par. 0 in duels, pretends to defend and we think he's good at passing the ball because he's elegant..." he said.

Towards a summer departure

With 19 Ligue 1 appearances to his name, including 14 as a first-team regular, Ounahi has had plenty of opportunity to show a different side. Recruited for just 8 million euros, the OM management believed they had found a bargain and could expect a capital gain on resale, based on the midfielder's great potential. If Transfermarkt values the player, eliminated with the Moroccan national team in the 8th final of the AFCON, at 12 million euros, it will be very difficult to see any manager getting out the checkbook to line up the tickets. An offer from Saudi Arabia miraculously landed on the OM president's table last winter, but Azzedine Ounahi was convinced he could pull it off and reverse the trend.With just a month to go before the end of the season, L'Equipe believes that the Moroccan's entourage is open to a departure this summer.

A number of clubs are keeping an eye on him, including Getafe and Villarreal in Spain.The Saudi Arabia option is still on the table. But Ounahi is dreaming of a move to the Premier League. In the meantime, Azzedine Ounahi could take advantage of the first leg of the Europa League quarter-final against Benfica to change Marseille fans' perception of him.

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