No team or coach would be pleased to lose a player especially with a major tournament around the corner.
This is the state Morocco find themselves into ahead of the 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations after forward Abderrazak Hamdallah suffered an injury that ruled him out of the tournament that starts from June 21st to July 19th, 2019.
Abderrazak was set to be one of Morocco’s target man ahead of Nations Cup after a successful 2018/2019 season with Al-Nassr in the Saudi Professional League where he top scored with 34 goals.
The development forced Morocco’s head coach Hervé Renard to replace him with left-back Abdel Karim Baadi of Hassania Union Sport Agadir in Morocco.
Renard is expected to rely on one of Khalid Boutaïb, Soufiane Boufal and Osama Idrissi to lead Morocco’s frontline.
Baadi had a tough season with Hassania Union Sport Agadir recording two assists with no goal out of 19 appearances.
Despite having a poor season he was summoned for Morocco’s preliminary squad managing to make the cut into the 23-man squad for the Atlas Lions.
Registered as a standby player, Abderrazak’s injury has granted Baadi an opportunity to represent his country at the continent’s most prestigious tournament.
Tipped to be one of the favourites to win this year’s competition, Morocco suffered a surprise 1-0 loss to the non-qualified Gambia in a warm-up game on Wednesday.
The 1976 champions are pooled with South Africa, Namibia and two time winners Ivory Coast in Group D and will kick start their campaign against Namibia on June 23rd.
Morocco’s 23 man squad
Goalkeepers: Mounir El Kajoui (Malaga), Yassine Bounou (Girona), Ahmed Reda Tagnaouti (Wydad Casablanca)
Defenders: Marouane Da Costa (Ittihad Jeddah), Ghanem Saiss (Wolverhampton), Mehdi Benatia (Al-Duhail Sports), Achraf Hakimi (Dortmund), Abdelhamid Yunis (Stade de Reims), Noussair Mazroaui (Ajax)
Midfielders: Karim El Ahmadi (Al Ittihad, Saudi Arabia), Youssef Aït Bennasser (Saint Etienne), Moubarak Boussoufa (Al-Shabab), Younes Belhanda (Galatasaray), Faycal Fajr (Caen), Mehdi Bourabia (Sassuolo), Nordin Amrabat (Al-Nasr), Hakim Ziyech (Ajax), Youssef El-Nesyri (Leganes), Nabil Dirar (Fenerbache)
Forwards: Khalid Boutaïb (Zamalek), Soufiane Boufal (Celta Vigo), Osama Idrissi (AZ Alkmaar), Abdel Karim Baadi (Hassania Union Sport Agadir) for injured Abderazzak Hamdallah (Al Nassr)