If ever there was a potential successor to Zinedine Zidane, in Badredine Bounanani French Ligue 1 side Nice have one. The talented Lille-born forward has emerged through Lille's youth team before making a transfer to current club Nice in 2022, and the 18-year-old is fast proving himself to be one of Europe's best up and coming talents.
Bouanani had an opportunity to choose between both France and Algeria, instead opting for the latter despite making his international youth debut for France's under-16, under-18 and under-19 sides. Just this year in March 2023, the 5 foot 8 striker opted to play for Algeria.
Comfortable playing as an attacking central midfielder or operating on the right wing, his preferred position, Bouanani has so far appeared five teams this season for OGC Nice and is sure to force his way into the club's starting XI on a more regular basis this campaign. Such has been the impressive youth displays of the player that Real Madrid and Barcelona have both deployed scouts to monitor the youngster's progress, and the player's value has jumped to 6 million euros on Transfermarkt in recent months. However, Nice would apparently only consider a sum of around 25 million euros to even contemplate selling their best young asset.
Bouanani's preferred foot is his left, but enjoys operating on the right flank. What makes this player so exciting is his exceptional dribbling quality, and his natural fitness, agility and balance. A competent passer of the ball, the Algerian will only improve over the coming years. Badredine enjoys cutting inside onto his preferred left foot, but also likes to shoot on an available opportunity, but has yet to bag his first goal in Ligue 1. His tenacious power and pace often attracts rival teams into a foul, winning his team many set-piece opportunities around the box.
It is clear that Bouanani is set to become a well-known face on the world stage. At 18, he still has a few years of rapid development and whether or not that will be at Nice or elsewhere is unclear. Paris St Germain have also deployed their top scout to watch the player in action.
Current Ability: 30/50
Potential Ability: 45/50