Ismaël Bennacer

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Ismaël Bennacer
Ismaël Bennacer (cropped).jpg
Bennacer playing for Arsenal in 2015
Personal information
Full name Ismaël Bennacer[1]
Date of birth (1997-12-01) 1 December 1997 (age 24)[2]
Place of birth Arles, France
Height 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)[2]
Position(s) Defensive midfielder
Club information
Current team
Milan
Number 4
Youth career
2004–2015 Arles
2015–2017 Arsenal
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2014–2015 Arles B 16 (0)
2015 Arles 6 (0)
2015–2017 Arsenal 0 (0)
2017Tours (loan) 16 (1)
2017–2019 Empoli 76 (2)
2019– Milan 83 (3)
National team
2015 France U18 4 (1)
2015–2016 France U19 7 (1)
2016– Algeria 40 (2)
Honours
Men's football
Representing  Algeria
Africa Cup of Nations
Winner 2019
*Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 16:59, 23 May 2022 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals, correct as of 23:09, 12 June 2022 (UTC)

Ismaël Bennacer (Arabic: إسماعيل بن ناصر, romanizedʼIsmāʻīl bin Nāṣir; born 1 December 1997) is an Algerian professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Serie A club Milan and the Algeria national team.

At club level, Bennacer has represented teams in France, England and Italy throughout his career. At international level, he made his senior debut for Algeria in 2016, and has since represented his nation at three editions of the Africa Cup of Nations; he was a member of the team that won the 2019 edition, and was named the player of the tournament.

Club career[edit]

Early career[edit]

After starting his career with French club Arles,[3] Bennacer signed for Premier League side Arsenal in July 2015.[4] He made his senior Arsenal debut in the League Cup fourth round away to Sheffield Wednesday on 27 October 2015, replacing Theo Walcott after 19 minutes, after the latter had already replaced the injured Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in an eventual 3–0 loss.[5]

On 31 January 2017, it was announced that Bennacer would join Ligue 2 side Tours on loan for the remainder of the 2016–17 season.[6] He scored his first goal for Tours on 14 April 2017 against Sochaux from a free kick.[7]

Ismael Bennacer playing for AC Milan

On 21 August 2017, Bennacer joined Italian club Empoli.[8] In the 2017–18 Serie B season, Bennacer made 39 appearances and scored 2 goals as Empoli won the Serie B title, earning promotion to Serie A.[9][10] Despite Empoli's relegation the following season, Bennacer's performances confirmed his status as one of the most promising young midfielders in Europe.[10]

AC Milan[edit]

2019-2020

On 4 August 2019, AC Milan announced they had signed Bennacer from Empoli for a reported transfer fee of €16 million plus bonuses. He underwent his medical on 23 July and signed a five-year contract, with a reported salary of €1.5 million per season.[11] He made his club debut on 25 August, coming on as a second–half substitute in a 1–0 away defeat to Udinese in Serie A;[12][13] his home and full–debut came on 31 August, in a 1–0 victory over Brescia.[13][14] On 18 July 2020, he scored his first goal for the club and in the Italian top flight in a 5–1 home win over Bologna in Serie A.[15]

2020-2021:

Bennacer played 30 matches in all competitions,[16] helping Milan to finish second in league table.

2021-2022:

Already a regular on Pioli's side, Bennacer form generated much praise from Italian pundits, showing dominating performance against the likes of Inter and Napoli.[17][18]

On 23 October 2021, as Milan was drawing 2-2 against Bologna, Bennacer scored the third goal in eventual 4-2 win. [19]On 19 March 2022, Bennacer scored a screamer from outside the box against Cagliari, helping his team to win 1-0 and stay on the top of league table.[20] For the first time in a single Serie A season, Ismaël Bennacer has scored more than once.[21]

International career[edit]

Although he had previously represented France at youth level, on 31 July 2016, the Algerian Football Federation announced that Bennacer had opted to switch his international allegiance and represent Algeria internationally.[22] He debuted for the Algeria national team in a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifier, a 6–0 win over Lesotho.[23] Bennacer was called up on 11 January 2017 to Algeria's squad for the African Cup of Nations of 2017[24] to replace Saphir Taïder, who suffered an injury in training.[25]

At the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, Bennacer helped Algeria to their first title in 29 years, finishing the competition as the joint-top assist provider, alongside Franck Kessié, with three assists, including one for Baghdad Bounedjah's match-winning goal against Senegal in the final on 19 July.[26][27][28] He was later voted both the "Best Young Player" and the "Best Player" of the tournament.[29][30][31]

Style of play[edit]

A dynamic, tenacious, energetic, diminutive, and versatile left-footed player, who is regarded as a highly promising prospect in modern football, Bennacer is capable of playing in several midfield roles, and has been used as a deep-lying playmaker in a holding role in midfield, as an attacking midfielder, or as an central offensive-minded midfielder, known as the mezzala role in Italian football. His main characteristics are his speed, vision, intelligence, composure, dribbling skills, passing, and technique; he is also known for his ability to transition from defence into attack.[32][33][34]

Personal life[edit]

Bennacer was born in Arles, France to a Moroccan father and an Algerian mother.[35]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of match played 22 May 2022[9]
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National Cup League Cup Continental Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Arles-Avignon II 2013–14 CFA 2 2 0 2 0
2014–15 14 0 14 0
Total 16 0 16 0
Arles-Avignon 2014–15 Ligue 2 6 0 1 1 0 0 7 1
Arsenal 2015–16 Premier League 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0
Tours (loan) 2016–17 Ligue 2 16 1 0 0 0 0 16 1
Empoli 2017–18 Serie B 39 2 0 0 39 2
2018–19 Serie A 37 0 1 0 38 0
Total 76 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 77 2
Milan 2019–20 Serie A 31 1 4 0 35 1
2020–21 21 0 0 0 9[a] 0 30 0
2021–22 31 2 3 0 6[b] 0 40 2
Total 83 3 7 0 0 0 15 0 105 3
Career total 197 6 9 1 1 0 15 0 222 7
  1. ^ Appearance(s) in UEFA Europa League
  2. ^ Appearance(s) in UEFA Champions League

International[edit]

As of match played 12 June 2022[36]
Algeria
Year Apps Goals
2016 1 0
2017 3 0
2018 3 0
2019 15 0
2020 3 1
2021 7 1
2022 8 0
Total 40 2
Scores and results list Algeria's goal tally first.
List of international goals scored by Ismaël Bennacer
No. Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 13 October 2020 Cars Jeans Stadion, The Hague, Netherlands  Mexico 1–1 2–2 Friendly
2. 12 October 2021 Stade Général Seyni Kountché, Niamey, Niger  Niger 3–0 4–0 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification

Honours[edit]

Empoli[9]

AC Milan

Algeria

Individual

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Algeria" (PDF). Confederation of African Football. 15 June 2019. p. 1. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Premier League Player Profile Ismael Bennacer". Barclays Premier League. 2016. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  3. ^ "ISMAËL BENNACER IS A NEW AC MILAN PLAYER". A.C. Milan. 4 August 2019. Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  4. ^ Sanderson, Jamie (29 July 2015). "Arsenal 'complete transfer of AC Arles-Avignon star Ismael Bennacer'". Metro. Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  5. ^ "Sheffield Wednesday 3-0 Arsenal". BBC Sport. 27 October 2015. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  6. ^ "Ismael Bennacer joins Tours on loan". www.arsenal.com. Arsenal Media Group. Retrieved 14 February 2017.
  7. ^ "Tours en route pour le maintien (3-1 contre Sochaux), Orléans replonge à Nîmes (0-2)". Magcentre.fr (in French).
  8. ^ "Arsenal youngster Bennacer joins Empoli". Yahoo.com. 21 August 2017. Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  9. ^ a b c Ismaël Bennacer at Soccerway. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  10. ^ a b Milan, A. C. "FOCUS: ISMAËL BENNACER". AC Milan. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  11. ^ Football Italia Staff (4 August 2019). "Official: Bennacer Joins Milan". Football Italia. Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  12. ^ "Udinese vs. AC Milan - Football Match Summary - August 25, 2019 - ESPN". ESPN.com. 25 August 2019. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  13. ^ a b Triolo, Daniele (1 September 2019). "Bennacer impressiona: il Milan ha trovato un faro a centrocampo" (in Italian). Pianeta Milan. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  14. ^ "AC Milan vs. Brescia - Football Match Summary - August 31, 2019 - ESPN". ESPN.com. 31 August 2019. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  15. ^ "Match report AC Milan 5-1 Bologna, Serie A 2019/2020". AC Milan. 18 July 2020. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  16. ^ "I.Bennacer". SOCCERWAY. Retrieved 20 March 2022.
  17. ^ Fisher, Oliver. "MN: Bennacer dominates Inter midfield in the derby". sempremilan. Retrieved 21 March 2022.
  18. ^ Moller, Isak. "Ambrosini praises Bennacer amid recent success". sempremilan. Retrieved 21 March 2022.
  19. ^ "Empoli 2-4 AC Milan, Serie A 2021/2022: the match report". ACMILAN. Retrieved 20 March 2022.
  20. ^ "Cagliari 0-1 ACMILANL: Ismael Benncer restores three-point lead". BBC. Retrieved 20 March 2022.
  21. ^ "CAGLIARI V AC MILAN: ALL OF THE NUMBERS FROM THE GAME". acmilan. Retrieved 21 March 2022.
  22. ^ Toufik O. (31 July 2016). "Bennacer (Arsenal) choisit officiellement l'Algérie" (in French). DZfoot. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
  23. ^ "CAN 2017 : Algérie 6-0 Lesotho" (in French). DZfoot. 4 September 2016.
  24. ^ "Arsenal midfielder Ismael Bennacer handed shock call up to Algeria's Africa Cup of Nations squad". Metro.co.uk. 11 January 2017.
  25. ^ M-A-D (11 January 2017). "CAN 2017 : Ismael Bennacer remplace Taider" (in French). DZfoot. Retrieved 11 January 2017.
  26. ^ "Algeria celebrate second Afcon title after beating Senegal". BBC Sport. 19 July 2019.
  27. ^ "AC Milan snap up Algeria's Africa Cup star Bennacer". The Score. 4 August 2019. Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  28. ^ Otieno, Imran (20 July 2019). "Top Assists charts at the 2019 African Cup of Nations". futaa.com. Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  29. ^ a b @CAF_Online (19 July 2019). "Pulling the strings from midfield like a boss Ismaël Bennacer is the #TotalAFCON2019 best player" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  30. ^ Ames, Nick (24 July 2019). "Africa Cup of Nations: Bennacer dazzles, Ziyech disappoints on transfer stage". ESPN FC. Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  31. ^ Otieno, Imran (20 July 2019). "AFCON Player of the Tournament and Best Young Player are announced". www.futaa.com. Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  32. ^ Wayne Girard (3 April 2019). "Bennacer, football's artist". Football Italia. Retrieved 5 April 2019.
  33. ^ Benedetto Ferrara (2 March 2018). "Talento Bennacer dribbling e gol lo manda l'Arsenal" (in Italian). La Repubblica. Retrieved 5 April 2019.
  34. ^ Wilson, Sam (18 July 2019). "Milan should be excited by Empoli pair". Football Italia. Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  35. ^ Chaillou, Clément. "CAN 2019: qui est Bennacer, la révélation de l'Algérie?". RMC (in French). Retrieved 26 September 2020.
  36. ^ Ismaël Bennacer at National-Football-Teams.com
  37. ^ "Milan secure 1st Serie A title in 11 years". News18 India. 22 May 2022. Retrieved 22 May 2022.
  38. ^ "Algeria hold on against Senegal to win Afcon". BBC Sport. 19 July 2019.
  39. ^ Kappel, David (21 July 2019). "Caf Announces Afcon Team of The Tournament". www.soccerladuma.co.za. Retrieved 25 July 2019.

External links[edit]