|Desc||Netherlands pulled out all the stops to persuade Mohamed Ihattaren to ignore a senior international call-up from Morocco, his parents’ homeland, and pledge his future to Oranje. The attacking midfielder, who turned 18 in February, only made his professional debut in January 2019 but has already established himself as one of PSV’s most important players|
|Org||xxxx National Team|
|Club as Player||PSV|
2019 08 20 Retrieve
[Ihattaren turns down Morocco selection while waiting for Netherlands option] I am honored by the pre-selection, but for the time being I am not going to make my choice. We’ll see. I just want to be important and also make an international name for myself. That would be nice in the Netherlands, but also in Morocco. I owe a lot to the Netherlands. I’ll not forget that in my choice.
2019 10 03 Retrieve
[PSV’s teenage prodigy making Eredivisie his playground] This is going to be my year. Write that down
[Brought up in Utrecht, Ihattaren moved to Eindhoven having been spotted by PSV scouts during a series of talent days] I never really wanted to do anything else; I just wanted to play football. My brother told me that a PSV scout had been in attendance at a tournament I played in and he said I would receive an invitation. And, when that eventually dropped on the doormat, I immediately knew what it was about. They organised a talent day on a Sunday, where you got the chance to show what you can do. I went to two or three of those and then they told me they wanted me to stay
I have always had a clear plan and I am following that plan at the moment. The preference was always to stay at PSV; that was the sensible thing to do. Money is not the most important thing, in my opinion. I am still young and have a lot to learn. I am improving all the time still. I need to achieve a lot more before I can start thinking about the next step in my career. I want to become the star player at PSV as soon as possible. I want to become important for the club, make the fans happy and win the title – more than once. And then in the end, I would like to earn a big transfer. But I am happy at PSV for now and in no rush to move on.
[Ihattaren still sees room for improvement, particularly in the less attractive aspects of his game, saying] I have to become more efficient and become more consistent when it comes to the defensive side of my game. I can’t let it happen that I track back one time and then slack off the next. I consistently have to play at a high level
I must admit that I don’t really like talking about myself, but I do think I’ve got something special
2019 11 04 Retrieve
[Why PSV teenage sensation picked Netherlands over Morocco] I thought about it long and carefully. I talked about it a lot with my family and in the end, we decided to pick the Dutch national team. They [KNVB] did a lot for me in the youth levels. I was in all the age teams and that made it hard to leave. Since the U14 [level] I’m in Oranje and we’ve won the Euros [Uefa European Under-17 Championship] with the U17. I’m happy to continue on this path. Aside from my family and the KNVB, I also talked a lot with the coach [Mark van Bommel]. He has quite some experience with the Dutch national team. Some of my teammates are already with the national team and they told me what it is like to play for the Netherlands. It was a good last talk and my mum was okay with it too