Prior to this season, the name Bilal Brahimi might not have meant much to Middlesbrough fans, but that changed when the young forward came on in the EFL Cup against Rochdale.
Given his debut by Tony Pulis at half-time, the 18-year-old didn’t get on the scoresheet, but was still part of the victory, and he’s thrilled about it.
Speaking to Foot Mercato, who had a chat with the youngster about his career up until now and how he’s faring at Riverside, he said: “The night before, I was so excited. I couldn’t wait. I started on the bench. For me, it was already crazy to be there. Before the game, the manager told me to be ready and that I’d play.
“I thought it would be for 10-15 minutes at the end. I wasn’t ready to go on at half-time.”
Explaining he was ‘scared’ the first time he touched the ball, the Middlesbrough youngster admits all fear disappeared quickly, and thinks he ‘left a good image of himself’ for the fans.
Earning his spot at the club via a 10-day trial during which he played four games, scored three times and picked up two assists, Brahimi was handed a two year Scholarship contract.
Now with the U23s, the 18-year-old is already training with the first-team, and he isn’t ready to stop there.
He said: “I’ve got one year left on my contract. My goal is to have a great season and to sign a professional contract with Boro. I want to be in the first-team as quickly as possible. It’s a decisive year for me.”
With Riyad Mahrez, Leroy Sané and Gareth Bale as his role models, he’s certainly setting himself a high bar, but he fully believes in his ability, and dreams of winning the Champions League and the World Cup.