Ismael Bennacer has received an international callup for Algeria to compete in the Africa Cup of Nations after another player withdrew because of injury.
The midfielder, who previously represented France at an international youth level, made his first appearance for Algeria during their 6-0 win over Lesotho in the Africa Cup of Nationals Qualifier.
Now, the 19-year-old, who’s is replacing Bologna midfielder, Saphir Taider, has been given another chance to play for his country on the big stage.
Algeria face Zimbabwe in just three day’s time as part of the Africa Cup of Nations group stage and Bennacer, who recently provided a stunning pass for Arsenal’s youth team, will be champing at the bit to get another appearance for his country.
Speaking back in September, Bennacer revealed how proud he was to be on international duty with Algeria and explained why he chose to represent them rather than France, where he was born.
“It is a great pride for me and for my family,” he said to the Algerian press.
“The choice to wear the colors of Algeria is a choice of the heart.
“The sporting challenge interests me, because Algeria is currently considered one of the best teams in Africa but also in the world. In fact, I did not hesitate for a moment when football officials in Algeria have contacted me. It is a great pride for my family, you know, when I received my first call-up there was a party at home.”
So far this season, the teenager has made 12 appearances in Premier League 2 and has only been benched once (v Derby u23s, away), with talk about him even going on loan.
A number of European clubs have been linked but there’s been no deal agreed yet.