Former Wolves defender Romain Saiss guided Morocco to victory over Belgium yesterday at the World Cup, in what was one of the tournament’s most eye-catching results so far.
The African nation have given themselves a really good chance now to get out of their group.
They currently sit on four points, and will make it to the knockout stages if they better Belgium’s result.
Morocco take on Canada, who are out of the competition after losing their first two games.
Yesterday, Morocco really caught the eye.
They have some talented attacking players, like Hakim Ziyech and Youssef En-Nesyri. And the manager Walid Regragui showed he has a bit about him with the substitutions he made, with both Abdelhamid Sabiri and Zakaria Aboukhal scoring after coming on.
But Morocco are also looking quite strong at the back, and that’s thanks in part to Saiss, who was really good again yesterday.
The former Molineux man made a whopping 12 clearances against Belgium, which is the joint most by a player in a game at the 2022 World Cup so far. He also won 4/4 aerial duels (via Squawka).
Saiss was also tidy on the ball, completing 86.5% of his passes.
It is interesting to see Saiss having made such a brilliant start at the World Cup.
Wolves officials could ultimately not agree a new contract for him ahead of 2022/23, and he left the club as a free agent.
On the evidence of the World Cup so far, Wanderers might have made a big mistake not making him a better offer to stay.
Romain Saiss looks absolutely superb for Morocco and is making Wolves look foolish, as star shines vs Belgium
Saiss has been very impressive so far in Qatar, and is helping to give his country a strong chance of getting into the knockout stages.
There were some Wolves fans that didn’t want Saiss to go in the summer. But also many others who were ready to see Wolves move on from him.
But it is looking like Wolves are worst off.
While Nathan Collins and Maximilian Kilman have potential to become a solid partnership, it feels like the defence does lack a bit of experience and leadership. Certainly, the squad does.
Saiss expressed his surprise about Wolves’ offloading as many characters as they did, and appears to be stinging at the moment.
Certainly, the failure to tie Saiss down is looking a real oversight. And the buck on that stops with executive chairman Jeff Shi, who is the man that makes the final call on such decisions at Molineux.