There is always at least one surprise among a FIFA World Cup™ coach’s 23-man squad announcement, and in Herve Renard’s case, that player was striker Youssef En-Nesyri, who had originally been included as a back-up option when the provisional Morocco list was released, before being brought in at the last minute in place of defender Badr Banoun.
“It’s a choice I’ve made, which bolsters our attack and gives us an extra option on the left,” explained Renard. “Youssef has been great recently. He’s able to really push himself towards the end of matches, when we need players who can put the needs of the team first. It’s about getting the right balance within the squad.”
It may yet prove to be a judicious decision, as the imposing 21-year-old exhibited some excellent form as part of Malaga’s front line during the season run-in, although he could not prevent his club’s relegation to the Spanish second division.