In this series, we follow some of the most creative players as they carve a niche for themselves in elite competition. Up next, 25-year-old wide wizard Mohanad Jeahze.

An impressive start to the season from Hammarby IF has raised eyebrows not only in Sweden but also those of eagle-eyed scouts abroad. 

The Stockholm club are not usually title challengers - they have won just one league title in their history. But under the guidance of their new Spanish head coach Marti Cifuentes Hammarby are playing a dynamic, high-energy style of football that is getting results and winning admirers.

A tilt for the title is looking like a real possibility. Playing a predominantly attacking 4-3-3 shape with strong attention to detail, varied pressing game and penchant for goals from set-pieces, Hammarby could be the real deal this season.

Unfortunately though, as is the nature of clubs in more minor European leagues, any level of attention also means your players are subject to being plucked by big dogs in bigger leagues. Hammarby have already lost two players - teenage talent Williot Swedberg for a club-record fee to Celta Vigo - and Myckel Lahdo to AZ Alkmaar in the Netherlands. 

It now seems they will have to fight to keep another of their players, and that is left-back Mohanad Jeahze. 

Born in Sweden with Iraqi heritage, Jeahze has spent his whole career to date in Sweden. He came through the youth system at IFK Norrköping but never actually made an appearance for the club, going out on a series of loans before transferring to IF Brommapojkarna and then Mjällby AIF. 

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Here he really began to establish himself as a promising left full-back and was a first team regular in a team that won promotion to Allsvenskan from the second tier.

A move to Hammarby followed in 2020 and Jeahze has now established himself as one of the league’s best full-backs. Solid defensively, assured and comfortable both defensively and going forward, the Iraq international’s performances at both Mjällby and Hammarby have led to interest from clubs abroad, Scottish giants Glasgow Celtic among them.

A competent defensive left-back, the 25-year-old is a strong attacking weapon for the team known as ‘Bajen’. According to Wyscout data, only one player in the entire division averages more crosses per 90 minutes (Hosam Aiesh of IFK Goteborg) and Jeahze’s 5.44 crosses per 90 average is made all the more remarkable because he averages a 45.76% cross completion rate, one of the best in the division for any regular starter in Allsvenskan.


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A high volume crosser with a strong completion rate is a dream for any team, especially if you have forwards capable of feasting on such output. In 977 minutes of league action, this season Jeahze has one goal and four assists, a fantastic end product for a defender. 

An assist in a 3-0 win against former club Norrköping showed everything positive about Jeahze.

A positive combination run down the left side that saw the Iraq international make a strong dribble, combination play and underlapping run, to then overlap and cut a pass back into the center of the penalty area for Darijan Bojanic to score from close range in the box, Jeahze showed in this match everything he brings to a team down that left-hand channel. 

Jeahze averages 1.93 dribbles per 90 this season, a more than respectable output for a defender. He is successful with his dribbling 61.9% of the time. When Hammarby play at home he tends to take up positions quite high up the pitch, operating almost as an auxiliary winger. 

Defensively Jeahze ranks strongly amongst his fellow Allsvenskan compatriots. A defensive duel win percentage of 67.19% means he wins more than two-thirds of his defensive battles, a stat that ranks him just outside the top 20 in the league for outfield players who have played more than 750 minutes this season. 

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Aerially he is not the best (66.7% win percentage) but isn’t too bad either. He racks up 5.9 defensive duels per 90, averages 9.21 passes to the final third per 90 (68% completion rate) and takes corners.

As you can see, therefore, Jeahze is heavily involved in all aspects of Hammarby’s game, from build-up play to defensive duties to set pieces. 

There are one or two areas Mohanad Jeahze can certainly improve on and he is not the finished article by any means. He is not the most efficient in possession or neatest in terms of technique and ball control in tight spaces. He sometimes plays teammates into trouble with a risky pass in his own half every now and then or a ball into a man under pressure. 

Defending duels can also improve: he gives the ball away carelessly at times and averages 2.23 losses in his own third per 90 minutes. Such losses from Jeahze lead to a dangerous opportunity for opponents on average roughly once in every three games.

For these reasons, and at 25 years old, his ceiling may well be a top team outside the top five major leagues or a mid-sized club in one of the top five leagues. Strong links to Celtic, clubs in Bulgaria and mid-tier teams in Italy are therefore no surprise and probably about right for his next destination.

There’s no doubt Jeahze will eventually leave Sweden for bigger things. Hammarby’s sporting director has already confirmed the club have rejected bids in the past, and Jeahze has admitted publicly he would like to test himself abroad one day.

If he can help Hammarby win their first league title since 2001 there’s no doubt he would leave as a club hero, with everyone’s blessing.

by Jonathan Fadugba

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