Ismail Oulad M’Hand, a rising star at Arsenal, has achieved a new milestone in his career with his call-up to the Morocco U20 squad. Here’s a look at his journey.

Ismail Oulad M’Hand
Ismail Oulad M’Hand via Twitter
  • Ismail Oulad M’Hand, a young midfielder from the Arsenal academy, has received his first call-up to the Morocco U20 squad.
  • After a successful season with Arsenal’s U18 squad, Ismail is expected to sign a professional contract with the club this summer.
  • Ismail describes his playing style as a combination of physical strength and tactical understanding, picked up from his time at Feyenoord’s academy.

For Arsenal’s young talent, Ismail Oulad M’Hand, the journey from the streets of The Hague to the lush green pitches of Emirates Stadium, and now to the Morocco U20 squad, has been notable.

The 18-year-old’s first call-up to his national side reflects his impressive development, and opens up an exciting new chapter in his burgeoning career.

Born and raised in the Netherlands, Ismail’s first encounter with football was on the bustling streets of The Hague. Alongside his older brother, Salah-Eddine, who also plies his trade at Arsenal, Ismail’s raw talent was soon discovered, and the siblings were quickly enrolled in their local football club.

The brothers’ potential caught the eye of several Dutch academies, but it was Feyenoord that became their chosen development ground.

Ismail spent nine enriching years at Feyenoord’s academy, sharpening his skills and preparing for the challenges that lay ahead. When his brother Salah-Eddine secured a contract with Arsenal, it presented a unique opportunity for Ismail. Despite facing some hurdles due to his age and the COVID-19 pandemic, he finally joined Arsenal’s academy ranks in 2021.

At Arsenal, Ismail quickly rose to prominence. His box-to-box midfield abilities, coupled with his strength in one-on-one duels and his knack for breaking up counter-attacks, made him stand out. The youngster notched up 18 appearances for the Arsenal U18s in his first season, offering glimpses of his potential with three goals and two assists. He even shone in Arsenal’s run to the final of the FA Youth Cup.

These promising performances have caught the eye of the Morocco U20 selectors, earning him his first international call-up. He will now represent the North African nation in two friendlies against the Burkina Faso U20s.

This new chapter in Ismail’s career marks an exciting step in his development, and one which will undoubtedly provide him with invaluable international experience.

Reflecting on his journey so far, Ismail remains grounded. He credits his progress to the rigorous training regimes at Feyenoord and Arsenal, as well as the physical and mental toughness he developed during his transition from Dutch to English football.

With an impending professional contract this summer and potential involvement in the UEFA Youth League campaign with the U19s, the future looks bright for Ismail Oulad M’Hand.

As he continues to shine at Arsenal, and now on the international stage with Morocco, there’s no limit to what this rising star can achieve.