5. Amine Harit
At Nantes, Harit was shifted from the right wing to even center midfield, but he found his niche in two areas: the left wing and
in the #10 role. At Schalke, Harit has found success in a central attacking role, behind Franco Di Santo and Guido Burgstaller. His versatility and unpredictable style has made him a nightmare for defenders to cope with, and in this free role, his creativity is maximized, allowing him to not only find forwards and buccaneering wingbacks with ease, but to also instigate counterattacks with his quick feet.
A true street baller, Harit’s quick acceleration and his ability to beat his man makes him a nuisance for defenders, often earning free kicks for his team at the edge of the box. From his pinpoint final ball, his overwhelming intelligence, and superb awareness in the final third, Harit has the potential to become one of the best all-round attacking midfielders in Europe, with an unstoppable capacity to turn defense into attack.
While he only picked up 1 assist last season, so far, Harit has 4 assists in 11 Bundesliga matches, but he is best known for the ‘pre-assist’, the pass that opens up the defense and creates a goalscoring opportunity. As he glides past defenders, Harit keeps the ball glued to his feet, constantly looking up for the right pass to make.
Amine Harit introduced himself to the scouting world in the summer of 2016, where, along with Kylian Mbappé and Issa Diop, he won the 2016 U-19 European Championship. Despite being a relatively unknown entity coming into the youth squad, Harit was superb throughout, earning a spot in the Team of the Tournament. In the final in Hoffenheim, Germany, Harit set up two goals en route to a 4-0 win against Italy’s U19 side.
After his superb performances in the U19 Euros, Harit was set to be rewarded in club level. René Girard started him in Nantes’ first Ligue 1 match of the season, a 1-0 victory against Dijon. The Euro win had opened up a new path for him to develop.
“The way people looked at me had changed,” Harit told L’Equipe. “If I’m playing at the moment in Ligue 1, it’s 90 % down to the Euros and also thanks to the work I’ve done in order to convince the manager.”
By November, Nantes were drastically struggling, and Girard was fired. Sérgio Conceição replaced him as manager, causing an upturn in form. Harit scored his first goal for the club in December and earned a long-term contract in January, but things were not always rosy with him and the Portuguese manager.
Conceição often dropped him from the line-up, and he even sent him to the reserves after a night out, going against the now-Porto coach’s disciplinary rules. Still, Harit recovered, finishing the season as one of the premium breakout stars in Ligue 1.
After more than a year since that brilliant U19 Euros, Harit had still not been called up to France’s senior side. In October, he switched over to Morocco, the country of his parents, and that same month, made his debut for Morocco. He was selected for the squad again in November, and with any luck, he will not only be on the plane to Russia next summer, but possibly even a starter for Hervé Renard’s Atlas Lions.