Haissem Hassan is a 21-year-old right winger who plays for Real Sporting de Gijón from Liga Hypermotion (Spanish second division). Born in Bagnolet, France, he also has Egyptian nationality. He was formed in the lower categories of Paris FC and LB Châteauroux, with whom he debuted in Ligue 2. In 2020 he joined Villarreal for 2 million euros and, after a good season in the reserve team, went out on loan to CD Mirandés. Having played a few minutes in the First Division with Villarreal last season, Haissem went out on loan again this year to Gijón.
Haissem, standing at 173 centimetres tall and with a slim build, is an extremely quick and agile winger. With great pace and incredible acceleration, he is a constant danger to the full-back if he has plenty of space to run into. At this start of the season he has been one of the players with the greatest sense of danger for the opposition backline and the stats prove it: 65% success rate in dribbles, leaving him with 4.3 completed dribbles per game (2nd best record in the league). In addition, he generates one key pass per game. Being left-footed and playing on the right flank, his main problem arises when it comes to linking up once he reaches the opponent’s area, as he has to switch to his left foot, losing spontaneity, or crossing with his right foot, which is less effective. Despite his spectacular form, he has yet to get a goal or assist in the first three games. Moreover, he is the kind of player who can make the fans desperate due to the incredible amount of one-on-ones he tries, prioritising his action over the team’s collective action with an average of 11 losses per match, and the little combination he plays in the attacking phase.
As previously mentioned, Haissem has a physical power worthy of admiration. Furthermore, despite the great efforts he makes with so many explosive runs, he shows enough stamina to be able to last 90 minutes without any major complications. He could thus be a constant danger, resulting in fouls that are favourable to the team in advantageous positions (although he has only been able to provoke one so far). However, his player profile would perhaps be more suited to being a revulsive, being able to cause more damage in broken games where he has enough space to attack the defenders’ backs.
In transition and defensive phases, Haissem is less involved than he should be. Despite playing as a wing-back in a five-man defence at times during the games, his involvement in defending is very limited, leaving his flank uncovered. Additionally, he tends to commit unnecessary fouls when defending due to his lack of proficiency in this type of action. Despite his great speed, he is often easily dribbled past. His inability to operate in this game phase can unsettle his team’s defence, forcing a centre-back to occupy the wide position and breaking up the centre of the backline. He has excellent positioning for pressing, recovering 1.7 balls per game and making 0.3 interceptions. These stats contribute to creating more dangerous attacking transitions. If he could improve this aspect of his game, Haissem would undoubtedly become a much more complete and profitable player.
To sum up, Haissem Hassan is a talented player with plenty potential that hasn’t been fully achieved yet. He’s undoubtedly one of the most dangerous players in his category, and this season could be his big opportunity to make a breakthrough and secure a place in the Villarreal first team as a squad rotation player in the future. To achieve this, however, he must work on his consistency and avoid disconnecting during matches. Despite being an U-17 and U-18 international with the French national team, he may also receive a call-up from the Egyptian national team and earn a spot in their senior squad.