Thursday, June 20, 2024

Bennacer eager to impress further after becoming Arsenal’s latest international

Arsenal have many internationals on their books, but just one of them is from outside the first-team squad, with exciting prospect Ismael Bennacer having made his senior debut for Algeria this week.

The 18-year-old is used to playing on the senior stage. He featured in the first-team for his former club, Arles-Avignon, in the second tier of French football, while he was given his competitive Arsenal debut in challenging circumstances last season as Arsene Wenger’s side were beaten by Sheffield Wednesday in the League Cup.

Usually deployed as a defensive-midfielder, Bennacer is hugely effective at winning the ball back by making precisely timed interceptions, yet he also possesses more creative qualities, with the youngster capable of weaving his way past opponents, while he is an adept passer of the ball.

Bennacer is a key player for Arsenal U23s, with his importance to the side demonstrated by the fact that he has worn the captain’s armband for Steve Gatting’s team in the first few games of the season.

Results have been dismal for the U23s so far, but Bennacer has still showcased his potential and, buoyed by his progress on the international stage, the youngster will now hope to become increasingly involved with the senior set-up at Arsenal.

Achieving that aim won’t be an easy task, with Arsenal having a wealth of midfielders to call upon, but Bennacer is highly regarded by Wenger, who has been impressed by the starlet’s performances in training.

After previously representing France at youth level, Bennacer made the decision to switch his allegiance to Algeria, and that choice has reaped instant benefits with his appearance for the latter nation against Lesotho.

Algeria have secured their place at next year’s Africa Cup of Nations, and, while Bennacer isn’t guaranteed to be part of his nation’s squad for that tournament, it would be a tremendous experience for him if he was selected.

For now, though, Bennacer is eager to continue working hard for Arsenal at youth level, and the young Gunners will be seeking to register their first victory of the season when they face Derby County away tomorrow night.

Jeorge Bird is the author of  Follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird



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Go on son


More power to him. He’s going to have to be pretty amazing to displace any of our current midfielders, though.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

If he has the talent and works hard, he can displace established players. Rashford will displace Rooney next year. It is all about talent.


If Bennacer can reach the same talent level as Rashford I will be over the moon.


He has a chance. Coq is great at what he does but he’s limited. He can win the ball back but his distribution isn’t the best. If this guy can mix in a bit of both he can get in. Probably a bit too young for that position though.

Harish P

Coquelin’s distribution isn’t ‘the best’ but it’s still pretty damn good.

Last year almost every 2 out of 3 passes were forward passes with a pass completion of 89%. While he wasn’t doing regular long balls he would mix it up with the long and short and hit on average 15-16m a game. Sure, a player like Xhaka does look better but for defensive options and good passing movement, Coquelin is surprisingly underrated.


coq is limited , stats will tell you only half the story . he has a pass completion rate of 89 because he does not attempt any ambitious passes like cazorla or xhaka for that matter. what he does is wins the ball and pass it to cazorla and he does it good no more no less.
i personally think if we had kante and xhaka as our midfield players we would’ve had a world class midfield , but i can understamd why we didint buy him .

the american

Wasn’t totally convinced by him in the sheffield game, but he’s integral to the U23’s and a debut for ANY nation at 18 should not be overlook. keep it up son


Yeah, and Algeria are hardly “any nation”. They’ve got some very good players.

David Hillier's luggage

More than just any nation, Algeria are currently the top ranked nation in Africa so he clearly has talent. I’m sure on a personal development level playing first team international games will do him the world on good, however potentially going away to the Africa Cup of Nations midway through the season might do more harm than good for his development at club level. Time will tell on this one I suppose, hope the lad makes it.

Bobby P

If he is not in the first team going away and playing in the African nations cup might actually benefit him.

I do wonder if Algeria have given him a cap to lock him in rather than because he is ready now. They have quite a few players born abroad (mainly France) which suggests that it might be a strategy they use.


It seems so. Many players from Algerian team are players that ply trade in foreign countries . it seems like they just wanted to make sure bennacer is locked to their team by playing him a few minutes.

David Hillier's luggage

I’d say you’re right on both point, certainly feels like nation locking.

Gudang Pelor

In 5 years, he’ll be 23 yo, with loan spell(s) under his belt, a a handfull of occasional first team appearance. And Xhaka would be 29yo(?) ready to pass the batton on to Bennacer.


Xhaka would be 28 and why would he “pass the baton” to him? At 28 or 29 Xhaka would still have many seasons left for us…


I think he is very talented , but body size must be adjusted especially because he plays in the midfield


Disagree here… Kante is hardly a giant, and they have the same play style.

Midwest Gooner

young man, have a word with Mahrez, please!

Cliff Bastin

Do you think Thomas the Train ever wishes he’d Bennecer?

Ducks sake

Who the fuck is Thomas the train?
It’s Thomas the tank engine and you still don’t make any sense


I see him actually playing the roll Carzola is currently playing. More of box to box weaving his way past defenders starting counter attacks.


It’s Cazorla, not fucking Carzola. Ca-ZOR-la!



Aaaargh, how do you say it?

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