There are plenty of stars that will lineup in the Europa League quarter finals this week, but one who may be slightly under the radar (for now) is Slavia Prague’s Abdallah Sima.
The 19-year-old has bagged 19 goals and six assists from 34 Slavia Prague appearances this season, which is impressive, sure, but not exactly unheard of. Consider that 12 months ago he was playing in the French fifth tier, however, and suddenly the perspective shifts.
A rapid rise to the top in senior football has seen Sima linked with a host of clubs around Europe. Everton were monitoring him recently according to reports, while Arsenal were also linked at the back end of 2020.
Besides his obscene scoring record, though, who actually is Sima? 90min has got you covered.
As mentioned, Sima’s exploits at Slavia Prague thus far are even more incredible knowing how they’ve come to be.
Aged 17, he was still playing local football in Senegal, before moving to French fifth tier side Thonon Evian. After leaving France, he moved to the Czech third tier in March 2020 – you know, when that pandemic hit – and was limited to months inside a rented accommodation in a new country on limited training sessions.
Slavia Prague caught wind of Sima by the summer, and took a punt on him after seeing him in a friendly. After lighting it up for their B-team, he had been promoted to the first team by September and has since become their star man, scoring ten goals in his first nine starts.
All in a year’s work.
Sima’s start to 2021 couldn’t have been much better.
After seeing his goalscoring form help Slavia Prague into the Europa League knockout stages – where he bagged against Leicester – he made his full international debut for Senegal in March.
He is still only 19. Incredible.
Standing at around six foot one, Sima isn’t just a typical throwback striker.
His versatility sees him used predominantly from the right flank, where his excellent running, intelligent pressing and well-timed runs against defenders leave him in good scoring positions.
He is still young and there are flaws to his game for sure, such as passing and beating a man consistently, but having a knack for goalscoring while still so early into his professional career is pretty damn impressive.
Some hail Lionel Messi as the blueprint, others prefer Cristiano Ronaldo. And if it’s not those two, then it might be Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Sima’s ability to score headers with regularity is more reminiscent of a prime Peter Crouch, however – we’re just waiting on him to crack out a robot celebration.
It may come as a surprise that Sima and Slavia Prague are in FIFA 21, but they are and you should be over the moon.
The Senegal international starts at a healthy 71 overall, but is tipped to be able to grow to a rating of 85 and is valued at around £4m, with wages of roughly £500.
He is the ultimate bargain for your career mode.