In recent years, apart from transfers, football clubs have also started to spend a ton of money on the football scouting network. This is what has helped the middle-tier clubs across the various football leagues cover some ground on their far more financially superior leagues. Brighton’s acquisition of young Swedish talented midfielder Yasin Ayari is a perfect example of that.
One of the brightest talents to emerge from the Swedish football system Ayari has been snapped up by the Premier League team at a fee of €4 million which is nothing short of a steal in today’s highly inflated transfer market Brighton manager Roberto de Zerbi expects him to be the successor for the talented Moises Caicedo should he depart in the summer.
And while Ayari may be some way from becoming an integral part of Brighton & Hove Albion, the initial signs are promising and indicate that next season fans at Seagulls will see a new star. However, Ayari’s rise has not come overnight and has been well known across Sweden.
So, who is Yasin Ayari, and how good is he?
Playing career so far
Yasin Abbas Ayari was born on October 6, 2003, in the Solna municipality, in the Swedish capital of Stockholm. He was born to parents who are originally from Morocco and Tunisia. Solna is an area where many immigrants come when they arrive in Sweden. Even Newcastle United star Alexander Isak was born and raised in Solna.
Ayari showed a remarkable interest in football from a young age and, at the age of eight, joined the youth academy of Rasunda IS, a club based in Solna. However, after two years, the youngster switched clubs and joined the Swedish top-flight club AIK Fotboll where he would speed the next 11 years.
Ayari played for the youth side for years, making progress step by step through various age groups. At the same time, his talent was also spotted by the Swedish football federation, which gave him his first taste of international football on May 12, 2019, when he played for the under-16 national team.
His big breakthrough would come almost one-and-a-half years later when he made his debut for AIK’s senior side on December 6, 2022. However, it was the following season that he would become an integral part of the team making 12 appearances. AIK challenged powerhouses Malmo for the title and only lost out on goal difference. Ayari’s performance also stood out as he was assured more minutes in the 2022 season.
Tack och stort lycka till, Yasin Ayari! pic.twitter.com/OuSrARXRkC
— AIK Fotboll (@aikfotboll) January 30, 2023
Yasin Ayari stats
The 2022 season made Yasin Ayari an interest of several clubs across Europe. Now an integral part of the team, the young midfielder made 24 appearances scoring four goals and providing two assists and becoming one of the few positives for AIK in a season where they finished a disappointing fifth, 14 points from the title winners.
However, Ayari showed encouraging signs in the middle of the park. Stats from Fotmob show that he made 1.6 tackles per 90 minutes, among the top five midfielders in the Swedish league. He was also quite successful, winning 55.3 per cent of his tackles.
Ayari created 26 chances for his team, a fair return for a defensive midfielder. Ayari also played in the Conference League Qualifiers for AIK, where they were eliminated by Czech outfit Slovacko.
Yasin Ayari scout report
One of the significant reasons many clubs apart from Brighton were attracted to him was his lack of fear for trying a bold move. In his last season in Sweden, the teenager regularly looked for bold passes but, when successful, put his team in a very advantageous situation.
This has been the case with his dribbling, which he rarely attempts, but he goes past two to three players when he does. While this means that the accuracy of his passing or tackling numbers are moderate, his success rate is very high.
However, this trend takes a 180-degree turn regarding defensive actions. Stats from FotMob show that Ayari contests a lot of duels in the middle and attacking third of the pitch, where there is a low chance of conceding a foul in a dangerous area and where the referee rarely awards caution.
He uses this skill regularly in the middle of the pitch to break the opposition’s attack. In addition, despite being only 1.72 metres tall, Ayari possesses a lot of strength that helps him in winning duels with high efficiency.
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What makes him special
Yasin Ayari has only made two appearances for the senior side after joining Brighton. One of the reasons is that Roberto de Zerbi has a settled squad. But his team could be raided by top clubs this summer, which means he will need new players to step up to the role.
Brighton expect that six months on the training pitch combined with a pre-season will make Ayari get accustomed to the league’s demands. This shows that he has already impressed the coaching hierarchy at the club with his immense talent.
Yasin Ayari at Brighton
As mentioned earlier, Yasin Ayari was brought by Brighton with the next season in mind. And the Seagulls have high hopes that the Swede can repeat the antics of Caicedo, who was signed from the Ecuadorian league.
However, for now, Ayari just works quickly to get acclimated to the new environment and become the great player he was already touted to be.