The 26-year-old player will not recover from his knee injury until mid-2020 at the earliest.
Rabat – Morocco’s Zakaria Labyad, playing football for Dutch club Ajax Amsterdam, will not be able to resume training until mid-2020, at the earliest, due to a knee injury. Ajax’s coach, Erik Ten Hag, made the announcement on Sunday, December 1, following his team’s win 5-2 against Twente in the local league.
“Labyad won’t play again neither in 2019 nor a large part of 2020,” said Ten Hag at a press conference.
The 26-year-old Moroccan-Dutch player injured his right knee during his team’s game against French club Lille during the European Champions League group stage. The medical staff transported Labyad off the field in the 47th minute of the game.
Ten Hag did not give more details on Labyad’s injury.
Since the start of the season, Labyad has mostly played as a substitute. However, in recent weeks, Ajax’s coach decided to start giving him more opportunities in the starting squad.
In two games when Labyad was a starting player, the Moroccan athlete scored one goal and gave one assist. However, the injury will put his development as a player on hold.
Labyad was born and grew up in the Netherlands. While the attacking midfielder played for the U17 Dutch national team, he decided to switch his athletic allegiance to Morocco. Between 2011 and 2016, Labyad played 17 games for Morocco’s U23 national team, scoring seven goals. He also played six games with the Atlas Lions.
The Moroccan player started his senior career with Dutch club PSV Eindhoven. He then played for Portuguese club Sporting Lisboa and English club Fulham, before coming back to the Netherlands to play for Utrecht and then Ajax.