Birth Date:01 December 1997
At AC Milan since:2019
Ismaël Bennacer was born in Arles, in the south of France, on 1 December 1997. The French-Algerian central midfield playmaker began his career at his hometown club Arles-Avignon. Arsenal brought him to London in the summer of 2015 as part of their Under-23 squad, giving him the chance to play in the UEFA Youth League.
He made his debut for the first team in the League Cup, before being loaned out to Tours on the last day of the winter transfer period of the same year. On his return, he was officially signed by Empoli, where, in his first year, he won the Serie B title. His dazzling performances in the Biancoazzurra shirt convinced AC Milan to acquire his services in the Summer of 2019.
In his first season, he formed an important partnership with Franck Kessie in Coach Pioli's 4-2-3-1 system. He got his first of three goals on 18 July in the 5-1 win against Bologna, and despite several injuries that has limited his game time, he has gained in total 105 appearances, as of June 2022. In the hunt for the title, another important goal of his was the deciding one at Cagliari, in what was one of the key moments of a season that saw Isma often voted by the Rossoneri fans as being the MVP of the match or of the month. He has also had international recognition with Algeria: in 2016, he got his debut (after some appearances for France's Under-18 and 19 teams), and in 2019, he won the African Cup of Nations in Egypt, earning the best player of the tournament award. Finally, he got his first international goal in a 2-2 friendly draw against Mexico in October 2020.