Mohamed Ihattaren is out of the PSV Eindhoven squad after a clash with Roger Schmidt. Has the talented midfielder played his final game in Eindhoven or can he win his spot back?

  • By Michael Bell
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For the second time this season, Roger Schmidt has tried to give Ihattaren a wake-up call by dropping him from the PSV Eindhoven squad.

An altercation after the 2-1 win over Olympiacos on Thursday, which saw PSV exit the Europa League, led to Ihattaren being left out of the squad for the clash with Ajax on Sunday.

Before the game, Schmidt stated to ESPN that he has been unhappy with the youngster’s, “Lack of discipline, motivation and team spirit,” for weeks.

After the 1-1 draw against Ajax, Schmidt spoke to the press again and was asked about the situation around the youngster. The German indicated that Ihattaren will only come back into his plans if he completely changes his attitude, “Whether he returns and whether he still plays for PSV depends on his performance and attitude. We all saw what it takes to play in his position on Thursday, as one of the 10s at this PSV. If he fights and plays like Götze, Madueke, Thomas, Mauro and Gakpo, he has a chance. Otherwise there is no chance.”

Schmidt added it is up to Ihattaren to change, “It’s not a one-way street. Of course you have to support and help someone, but from the other side something also has to come back. Ultimately, it is always the same in life: you cannot change people, people can only change themselves. We tried to change him. It’s up to him now. It is also not always easy for young players. Hype quickly develops around them. Everyone is looking for these types of players. Everything is still possible, but we now have to change the style of aid.”

Ihattaren must now decide whether he wants to prove himself to Schmidt and win his place back in the starting eleven, especially with the European Championships looming. Frank de Boer was keen to include Ihattaren earlier in the season, despite his lack of form, but has that now changed because of the midfielder’s newest setback? De Boer will announce his pre-selection for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers in the next two weeks.

Ihattaren may also decide that he wants to move in the summer and could plant his feet. Ajax and Ihattaren have openly flirted with each other for months and it could lead to a controversial move, while there would be plenty of suitors abroad.

At the moment, PSV is in contract talks with Mino Raiola over extending Ihattaren’s deal past 2022. But the success of those talks looks increasingly unlikely, and that may lead to Ihattaren being sold in the summer.

From being PSV’s golden boy, Ihattaren is increasingly becoming a problem child for Schmidt and the club. The next week could give answers for what is to come.

Will Ihattaren be back in the fold for the trip to Fortuna Sittard next weekend? If not then it may confirm that Ihattaren and PSV are heading for a messy break-up. If he is then we may see a newly motivated Ihattaren keen to prove himself.

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