Twenty3’s Under 23s to watch: Osame Sahraoui

Osame Sahraoui has made a dazzling start to the 2023-24 Eredivisie campaign.

The Heerenveen winger is quickly emerging as one of the most exciting prospects in Dutch football with his quick feet and creativity in the final third.

We fired up the Twenty3 Toolbox to take a deep dive into some of the impressive numbers the Norwegian has posted this season.

Increased output

Typically operating on the left wing, Sahraoui clocked in 1,408 minutes of football in the league this season, eclipsing his tally of 1,372 from last term.

Since joining from Eliteserien side Vålerenga, he has been relatively quiet in terms of pure goalscoring output but he is starting to show potential for improvement.

The 22-year-old’s 17 appearances this term have returned four goals and one assist — having managed one goal and five assists in his debut season.

Sahraoui is performing well in line with his expected goal tally (3.83xG), while he may feel unfortunate not to have more assists given his expected total (2.01xA).

But with 16 matches still to play the winger is on track to beat his best-ever goal contributions total.

Dribble king

Sahraoui’s mesmeric dribbling immediately catches the eye — and he is rubbing shoulders with the best in Europe numbers-wise.

He thrives on picking up the ball deep in the opposition half and jinking past defenders one at a time.

No player in the Dutch top flight has attempted more take-ons (216). He has completed 92, a total only bettered by the in-demand Johan Bakayoko (103).

Heerenveen’s No20 is always looking to disrupt defences and has registered an impressive 82 progressive runs — ranking third in the Eredivisie.

Sahraoui is so difficult to dispossess because of his low centre of gravity and skill with both feet — and he is more than happy to attack the byline or cut in to shoot.

He plays with a brimming confidence that allows him to continually threaten. No player in the league has attempted more attacking duels (348) than the winger.

Creative licence

If Sahraoui is not tiptoeing past players in the final third, he is looking to create goal-scoring chances for others.

The Oslo native has found most success when combining with his team-mates, completing 43 of his 54 link-up attempts — ranking fourth in the division among wingers.

While his deliveries into the box are less effective — only 15 of his 48 cross attempts have found a team-mate — Sahraoui has focused more on space in behind, making 15 through-ball attempts, four of which have been successful.

Sahraoui is crucial going forward for Heerenveen, with only one other team-mate managing to involve themselves in more sequences that ended in a shot (83).

Shoot on sight

Sahraoui has shown no limits in front of goal this season.

The Norway international has registered a team-leading 37 efforts — but only 11 of those non-penalty attempts have found the target. 

Still, he has put away opportunities as expected and leads Heerenveen for touches in the opposition’s box (72).

Should Sahraoui take his production in the final third to the next level he is sure to find clubs around Europe circling for his services.

All visualisations in this article were produced with the Twenty3 Toolbox. For more information, please get in touch below.