Barcelona youngster Ez Abde might only have three goal contributions in his 17 appearances for Osasuna this season, but the fact that he has made such an impression at El Sadar speaks to his talent.
It does help that one of those goals was the winner in the Copa del Rey quarter-final against Sevilla in extra time, but throughout the season Abde has excited the crowd in Pamplona.
Speaking to Relevo in a recent interview, Osasuna manager Jagoba Arrasate counted himself amongst the Moroccan’s biggest fans.
“He is a special player. For us it is a luxury to have him on loan, because we cannot have these footballers in any other way. We have to take advantage of it, because he’s different in every way, he’s a super affectionate guy, everyone loves him a lot. There are days when not a single thing comes off and it drives you crazy, but he’s also going to win games for you, so what we do is not limit him, but enhance his virtues, because you can’t take away these players’ freedom.”
Arrasate was then asked whether Abde was an antidote to roboticised footballers, given his raw, impulsive manner of play.
“We cannot limit that talent or tell him ‘you have to do this, this and that’, no, because he has so much talent and such a repertoire that our job is to generate the best ecosystem for him, so that he receives in areas with little traffic and can play 1-on-1. Generate situations so that he can shine.”
While Abde has lacked continuity, there is a general acknowledgement that with a little more rounding, rather than limiting, he could turn into a highly effective player. It is worth mentioning that this is just Abde’s third season in professional football, having made the jump from Hercules in the third tier to Barcelona Atletic two summers ago, thus it makes sense he is a little rough around the edges.