Chelsea youngster Sami Tlemcani has been selected to represent the Moroccan senior national side for the very first time.

Tlemcani, who is yet to make a senior appearance, got the call to be part of his country’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers yesterday.

This is despite the goalkeeper having not made an appearance for Chelsea Under-18s yet this season.

In 2020/21, he played four games, conceding eight goals.

Tales of Tlemcani

The 17-year-old arrived at Stamford Bridge from Paris FC last October.

He was born in France, but descended from Moroccan-Algerian origins.

West Bromwich Albion v Chelsea: U18 Premier League
(Photo by Clive Howes – Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

This meant the ‘keeper could choose between representing either Algeria or Morocco.

Evidently, Tlemcani settled on the latter.

And his allegiance to the Atlas Lions has been rewarded.

Morocco have three qualifying fixtures coming up, two against Guinea-Bissau and one with Guinea.

Unhappy Hakim

Whilst Tlemcani is set to bask in the international spotlight, another Chelsea player will be without such joys.

Hakim Ziyech was not added to his national team’s latest roster.

Hakim Ziyech of Chelsea reacts during the Uefa Champions
(Photo by Andrea Staccioli/Insidefoto/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Ziyech is suffering from a fallout with the manager, Vahid Halilhodzic.

 

The creative forward was omitted from Morocco’s previous squad, for reason’s Halilhodzic made very clear.

“He hasn’t been disciplined in the last two rallies and has refrained from training,” said the coach.

“He didn’t look like a player from a national team fighting to qualify for the Cup World.

“For the first time in my coaching career, I saw a national team player who doesn’t want to train and claims to be injured, although tests have shown he can play.

“I won’t tolerate it.”

FBL-AFR-CAN-2021-MAR-MTN
(Photo by FADEL SENNA/AFP via Getty Images)

Failing to break Halilhodzic’s barrier once again has piled more misery upon Ziyech’s shoulders.

Perhaps mentioning shoulders around the 28-year-old is unwise.

He damaged that particular body part in the UEFA Super Cup final, which put an end to the form picked up over pre-season.

Ziyech returned from treatment sooner than many expected, but the damage continued to run deep.

Out of the team and out of steam, the former Ajax architect is now struggling to fit the pieces together.

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