After a failed spell at Benfica, winger Bilal Ould-Chikh is back in the Eredivisie with Utrecht and looking to prove he is still a major talent. 

  • By Michael Bell
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Born in Roosendaal to Moroccan parents, Ould-Chikh moved through several youth academies including Feyenoord and Willem II before joining FC Twente in 2012. Two years later, after impressing for Jong Twente in the Eerste Divisie, he made his first team debut against PEC Zwolle at the age of 16. That proved to be his only Eredivisie appearance of the season, but the campaign after he was used more regularly, scoring once in 18 appearances.

With interest building around Europe, FC Twente wanted to tie the winger down to a long-term deal, but the club was rocked when Ould-Chikh decided to sign an agreement with Benfica two days after his 18th birthday. The move to Portugal proved to be a big mistake as he never made a single appearance for Benfica’s first team and last March his contract was terminated. Ould-Chikh returned to Netherlands and after a trial with Utrecht, he signed a two-year-deal, with the option of another.

Ould-Chikh has represented Netherlands up to U19 level but has stated his international future is still undecided with Morocco an option.

Style of Play

Ould-Chikh is a tricky winger, who can be deployed on either side but is primarily left-footed. He is at his strongest when played on the right wing as he loves to cut inside and shoot at goal. His biggest asset is his dribbling ability and he often glides past opponents with ease. Ould-Chikh isn’t the tallest winger, but has good upper body strength and a low centre of gravity, making him hard to budge off the ball when he gets going.

However, Ould-Chikh needs to work on his final product, with the youngster not scoring enough goals for the positions he gets himself in.

What to expect from Ould-Chikh this season

Although it seems like ages since Ould-Chikh first burst onto the scene with FC Twente, he is still only 19 and being back in the Eredivisie he has a big chance to prove himself again. With Utrecht losing a number of key attackers this season, Ould-Chikh will look to break into Erik ten Hag’s side and impress in not only the Eredivisie, but also the Europa League.

Impressive performances will also put Ould-Chikh back into contention for an international call-up and he will have to decide whether to stick with Netherlands or pursue a career with Morocco.

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