Born in Roubaix in France, Ahmed Touba, 23, who now plays for RKC Waalwijk in the Dutch Eredivisie, was of great interest to Belgium’s Red Devils coach Roberto Martinez. However, the versatile defender is still in Djamel Belmadi’s plans for Algeria’s upcoming matches.
The versatile defender of RKC Waalwijk, Ahmed Touba, revelation of the season in the Eredivisie (3 goals in 30 games), has not played a single minute with the Fennecs, which he said he was so proud to have joined, following a « choice of heart ».
On this subject, Ahmed Touba said: « By opting for Algeria, I simply made a choice of the heart. I lived in Belgium for a long time, but Algeria is the country of my family, the country where I come from, and I always dreamed of playing for my country. Thank God my dream came true. When I told my family about my call-up to the Algerian national team, everyone was happy and proud too. Not everyone can wear the colours of their country’s national team and football is very important in Algeria.
Belgium, however, is still on the lookout for the 23-year-old. « We appreciate Ahmed’s potential, talent and specific profile, » said Roberto Martinez, as reported by Sport Magazine. « He can play on the left and in central defence, which are two positions the Red Devils are looking for. If he continues to develop, he can certainly qualify for the national team. We have a busy international calendar in the next 18 months and Ahmed is part of the pool of players we will follow at every national team meeting, » added the Belgium coach.
However, with the squad for the European Championship likely to be expanded to 25 or 26 players, coach Roberto Martinez, who has never broken off contact with Ahmed Touba, sees the latter as a player capable of remedying the current shortage of left-sided centre-backs: behind the ageing Jan Vertonghen (32), there has been a vacuum since the Japanese exile of Thomas Vermaelen, whose last appearance with Vissel Kobe was on 17 March.