21 Defender Udinese Iraq
Wing pounding, Iraqi poster boy left back, wonderfully described on Wikipedia (in the same paragraph) as both the Asian Ian Harte and/or Gareth Bale (we’d come down a little heavier on the latter but you get the drift). Graduate from the Ammo Baba coaching school that really caught the eye at the 2013 FIFA Under-20 World Cup. Progressed well in the relatively homely surroundings at Çaykur Rizespor for two years before accepting the opportunity to move on to Udinese in the summer.
2015 has been…
All about doing the right thing. This time last year we were fairly sure Adnan was about to move and the smart money was on England with several interested suitors. A move in January would, in hindsight, not have been a bad thing as Adnan’s final months in Turkey turned into something of a wreck. A red card suspension led to a loss of form as Karadeniz Atmacası struggled for results. Injury and national team call ups also made an impact as Adnan accumulated less than ninety minutes Super Lig football in the final six months of the season.
Inevitably, this dip did for several potential moves, but Udinese (who else?) stepped in to give Adnan the next level platform he required.
Operating primarily on the left side of a five man midfield, Adnan started the first nine games of the season for Bianconeri Friuliani and certainly made a mark. Despite losing his place recently to the versatile Brazilian Edenilson, Adnan has continued to play a part in matches often as the go to sub for coach Stefano Colantuono and cannot be far away from a recall to the starting line-up.
As mentioned above, Adnan has drawn comparisons to Gareth Bale and this is unquestionably to do with the attacking element of his game. However, it has been the defensive side of things that we’ve been really impressed by this season, quite unexpectedly. Whilst Adnan has been far more accomplished in aerial battles, his one on one defensive play has really caught the eye and his stats stand up to almost any other player in Serie A.
Ali Adnan has always been an accomplished performer but we were a little concerned that he may be a little ‘showy’ upon arrival in Italy, he’s big news back home, after all. What’s really delighted us is the fact that Adnan has worked hard to nail down the defensive aspect of his game as a priority above all else. That he has adapted so well in a new league deserves genuine admiration.
Nevertheless, Udinese will have expected to see the sharp end too, and while the Iraqi is yet to deliver a goal or provide an assist, Adnan has been one of the most effective crossers of a ball in Serie A this season. Palermo’s sprightly Achraf Lazaar has run him close, but Adnan has created more scoring chances that any other attacking full back in the league this season.
2016 really is an open door for Ali Adnan Kadhim. He has the opportunity to become one of the most accomplished players in his position in European football, and, as things stand, is going the right way about it.
C+ Take it up a notch and the world is yours
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