Youngster gets African Cup of Nations call-up


Young midfielder Ismael Bennacer has been handed a surprise call up to the African Cup of Nations by Algeria.

The 19 year old, who joined the Gunners in 2015 from French side Arles, has played 12 games for the U23s this season, and was brought into his national squad because of an injury suffered by Saphir Taider.

Bennacer, a highly-rated creative midfielder, has made just one appearance for Arsenal, in the ill-fated Capital One Cup defeat to Sheffield Wednesday last season.

Good luck to him in Gabon, where fellow Gunner Mohamed Elneny is representing Egypt in the tournament.

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28 Comments on "Youngster gets African Cup of Nations call-up"

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Good for me. I like Bennacer. I hope he makes it here.


Good luck to the young lad. The international experience will do him good.

Mr November

He’s a tidy player. Can put his foot in and a good range of passing. Check out the assist he got for Nketiah’s goal against Derby the other day. Definitely one to watch. Let’s hope he impresses in training and gets some minutes on the pitch. Good luck Ismael.

Clock-End Mike

He’s played once (I think, only) for the first team, coming on as substitute and playing 70′ in the Capital One Cup last season against Sheffield Wednesday. Didn’t disgrace himself either (though the team were largely toothless after injuries to the Ox and then Walcott, whom he replaced).

Good luck to him.

John C

Another braindead youngster who’s decided to compromise their Arsenal/club career but choosing to represent an african nation when he was born in europe. Seriously what kind of advice do these kids get?

How many players do they think our first team squad can handle that might disappear for a month or so every other January?

Elneny (who we knew was african when we signed him and was at least was born in africa) has left us just when we need him and we now have only 2 fit central midfielders. If we drop points because we lose another midfielder it’s hard to imagine that it won’t adversely affect Elneny’s Arsenal career because he wasn’t there when we needed him.

David C

bit harsh mate.

He might not be good enough for the European team so if he can make an international team then good for him.

In Canada, we have the complete opposite problem. Our players (if good enough) choose to play for European teams even though they grew up in Canada. (Think Owen Hargraves).

John C

The kid’s 19!! Why is he making the decision now?


I’d like to know what strain of racial discrimination weed you’re taking man, that shit needs to be banned asap


If there is a brain-dead moron here it’s not Ismael, mate…you get me?


The real issue lies in having an African competition in January every two years. Once every four years would be much more palatable.


To understand that is to understand the reasons why the ACN is scheduled the way it is.

It is a much a developmental tool as is political. African countries need yeh tournament to advance economic advancements.


John C, seriously embarrassed you are an arsenal fan

What do you know about having a double nationality? How it feels? You can love and be proud of several countries or cultures. Of course he should play for who ever country he wants. Whenever he wants.

Go for a long walk in the park and think about it. The world is big place, be part of it.


I think his point was lost in his poor choice of wording. The point I’m referring to was something along the lines of it is wrong if kids who have left Africa (or wherever) and received European (or wherever) training and coaching decide they want to represent a nation because it might deny a locally trained kid the opportunity to showcase themselves on the international stage.

At least I think that’s what he said, if he didn’t then I agree with myself lol

What I find even more ridiculous is when you see nationalised players. Something about seeing an “Alex” or a “Danilo” play for Japan seems off to me lol. Australia are crying out for a striker at national level and my mates keep saying we should just nationalise Bruno Fornalroli (Uruguayan, here as an international marquee player). I would rather an actual Australian pushed through the ranks than a one of these guys who for all intents and purposes won’t ever make it for their own country.


Ok you my man are a dick.



With more World Cup places(admittedly in future ) places for Africa and Asia and West Indies teams in future more players will not pick England . Look at iwobi.
Jenkinson could have 40 caps for Finland by now in a similar situation.

Va va voom

Diego Costa playing for Spain is okay I guess

John D

Diego Costa is not okay.

He is a dickhead.

Who will likely win golden boot in a league winning side whom i would love to see in arsenal colours.