A first contradiction of Walid Regragui with the summons of Walid Cheddira? One would be tempted to believe it if one relies on the declaration of the national coach during his press conference last Monday.
“It’s not because you have 5-6 pro games and you know that Belgium, the Netherlands or Spain are watching you that you are blackmailing me to quickly play a World Cup. If you are Moroccan and you really want to play with the Atlas Lions, then you have to be regular and patient to earn a place,” explained the new boss of the den of the Atlas Lions.
These were essentially the words of Walid Regragui held during his press conference after the publication of his first list. Words that target several players but not necessarily the Bari striker, Walid Cheddira, author of 4 goals in Seria B this season (plus 3 assists).
The idea is not to challenge Regragui’s choices but to raise the paradox by recognizing that Walid Cheddira has not yet confirmed at the highest level in the same way as Amine Salama or Ismael Saibari. The neo-Lion of the Atlas evolves in Seria B with Bari after two loans in Seria C the two previous seasons. His performances at the highest level are therefore limited to his career since the start of the season and his statistics are rather impressive.
In any case, they are sufficient for the new national coach who has decided to bet on this 24-year-old striker by inviting him to the next concentration of the Atlas Lions. For Regragui, the presence of the Bari striker is justified and for Cheddira, it is a more than deserved summons after his overflowing comeback with the Bari jersey for which he scored 9 goals, in all competitions. It is also his best start to the season since his 21 goals scored as fans of Sangiustese before his move to the pros with Parma, Arezzo, Lecco and Mantua.
In the den of the Atlas Lions, Walid Cheddira will have to face competition represented by confirmed attackers such as Youssef En-Nesyri, Ryan Mmaee, Sofiane Boufal, Soufiane Rahimi, Ayoub El Kaabi or Hakim Ziyech.