Portsmouth triallists: hat-trick-hero Gassan Ahadme - who is he and where has he come from?

Pompey were initially keen to keep their triallists’ identities under wraps.

Sunday, 11th July 2021, 1:08 pm

To an extent, that is still the case, with not all of the 10 want-to-be Blues players who lined up against the Hawks on Saturday named.

In truth, keeping such details classified would have been nigh-on impossible, especially at a time when fans are allowed back into grounds and social media is rampant.

Meanwhile, the club’s wishes wouldn’t have been helped either when one of those triallists comes on as a second-half substitute to score a 26-minute hat-trick and secure a 5-2 win.

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Initially known as ‘Triallist H’, it has since emerged that the Pompey super-sub is in fact Norwich under-23 striker Gassan Ahadme.

But what else is there to know about the player?

Well, let us help you out on that front.

Name: Gassan Ahadme

Gassan Ahadme, right, celebrates his third goal against the Hawks.  Picture: Paul Cooper
Gassan Ahadme, right, celebrates his third goal against the Hawks. Picture: Paul Cooper

Age: 20

Position: Striker/second striker

Value: £45,000 (according to transfermarkt.co.uk)

Place of birth: Vic, Spain.

Gassan Ahadme scores his second goal against the Hawks. Picture: Paul Cooper

Nationality: Despite being born in Spain and having a Spanish passport – a key reason why the forward meets current criteria to play in England – Ahadme also has Moroccan citizenship and has opted to play for the North African country.

International career: Understandably, Ahadme is yet to play for Morocco at senior level, with the country currently ranked 34th in the world.

How did he end up playing in England?

Adahme was snapped up by Norwich in 2019 at the age of 18.

He was spotted playing for Spanish amateur side Gimnastic de Manresa.

They play in Group 3 of the División de Honor Juvenil – the top level of the Spanish football league system for youth players aged 18 years old and under.

The striker was the top scorer in the league the previous season with 10 goals.

The Canaries reportedly saw off competition from a host of other European clubs to attain Ahadme’s services.

Speaking upon his Norwich arrival, the player said: ‘It’s a great feeling because I was playing in a small team in Spain and it’s a great thing for me and new life. I hope it all goes okay.

‘I first heard of Norwich’s interest in December. They watched me a few times and then asked me to come on trial.

‘I was very happy (when I first heard Norwich wanted to sign me). When I came on trial, I did my best and finally got the chance to sign.’

That was nearly two years ago. How has Adahme fared since then?

Since then, the now 20-year-old featured 18 times for Norwich’s under-23s at Premier League 2 level, registering seven goals and one assist.

He failed to feature for the first team at Carrow Road, but played twice in the EFL Trophy during the 2019-20 season.

One of those games was against Pompey at Fratton Park.

Ahadme started the match, which the hosts eventually won 3-1, but was substituted in the 61st minute.

His other run-out in the competition came against Crawley two weeks later, with the young Moroccan scoring the opening goal in a 2-1 win.

Last season he was loaned out to Spanish second division side Real Oviedo.

How did he do there?

Rather than link up with the first team at Oviedo, Ahadme joined the the Segunda División side’s ‘B’ team – Real Oviedo Vetusta, who play in the Segunda División B – Group 1, which is the fourth tier of the Spanish football league system.

The team finished last season in 16th position, with the then Norwich loanee featuring just six times in total and without scoring.

He returned to Norwich following the conclusion of the loan deal.

How did he end up at Pompey?

Danny Cowley confirmed that Ahadme only linked up with the Blues on Friday.

It is believed his contract is up at Norwich, although such details have not been confirmed.

He’s currently on trial as Cowley looks at all options available to him – and he won’t have done his chances of securing a Fratton Park deal following his three-goal salvo after coming off the bench.

What has been said about his performance?

Cowley was coy when it came to naming Ahadme’s – but he thought the Moroccan delivered a ‘complete number-nine performance’.

The head coach told The News: ‘We've got a lot of triallist. For us, we don't want to shout it from the rooftop for obvious reasons.

‘We're calling him Triallist H. He did okay, didn't he!

‘I thought he played well. He came in and only joined the group yesterday.

‘I thought it was a complete number-nine performance. I thought he played with a lot of intelligence, long to short, and made runs in behind.

‘He caused the Havant backline a real problem and to score three goals is great for any striker.’