The stats that show Ez Abde's evolution at Osasuna
He banged the winner against Athletic in the Copa del Rey semi first leg
"After the World Cup he struggled a bit, but when he is in his rhythm, when he is in sparkling form, he is a player who can unbalance teams. What we have to do is create an ecosystem for him to shine. Generate those one-on-one situations for him. Today Athletic defended well but in the few that he was able to get… we know what a player he is.”
Jagoba Arrasate is clear that Osasuna have a special player with them this season. Ez Abde once again scored one of those goals that go viral.
The Barça winger, on loan this season at Osasuna, is becoming one of the great attractions in Spanish football. Maybe because there are not many players like him left, maybe because he is a militant dribbler, he arouses so much interest. The Moroccan player, born to take players on, a winger from another era, continues to play with the freedom of street football.
Arrasate is the first who does not want to change the nature of the player. "There are days when nothing comes off for him and he drives you crazy, but he's also going to win you games. You have to promote his virtues, you can't take away the freedom of these players," he said in an interview with 'Relevo'.
Against Athletic, in the Copa semi-finals, he scored an extraordinary goal. He received a ball at his feet on the left flank, escaped from his opponent with a change of pace and fired across the goalkeeper to score. His performance was reminiscent of Figo once again.
Abde is synonymous with taking players on, a phrase that has been with him ever since he popularised the famous phrase, "Xavi asks me to take players on and I take players on.”
He did it at Barça and he does it at Osasuna, where he is growing under Arrasate. His numbers against Athletic reflect this evolution. Abde won 10 of 14 duels, successfully completed four of the five dribbles he attempted, drew four fouls and scored a goal. He also recovered three balls.
Abde has played 857 minutes for Osasuna this season, scoring two goals and providing two assists. His big challenge to get to the next level is to score goals more regularly. If he improves his goalscoring numbers, added to his unbalancing play, he will have a better chance of finding his place at Barça.