Position: Defensive Midfielder
Age: 24 (Born December 1, 1997)
Shirt number: 4
Country: Algeria (40 caps since 2016, 2 goals)
At AC Milan since: 2019
With the Algerian international, AC Milan had found the perfect heir for the legendary Gennaro Gattuso, where they shared their playing style as a hard-nosed defensive midfielder.
After beginning his career in his hometown Arles, Bennacer moved to Arsenal in 2015, spending his two seasons there, including a short-term loan back to France with Tours.
In 2017, he moved to Italy with Empoli, sharing the midfield alongside Rade Krunic as they were the key cogs in winning promotion and the cadetto as Serie B champions. Bennacer then played a total of 76 league matches for Empoli in the top two tiers, in which their survival push came up just short the following season.
After his stint in Florence, he won his first international honor, where he led Algeria to their second African championship in 2019, outlasting Senegal in the final at Egypt. Overall, he scored twice in his forty caps for the Foxes.
Despite Empoli’s relegation, Milan paid €16 million for his services and to remain in the topflight, and subsequently joined his Bosnian partner at the San Siro. Bennacer played 35 matches in all competitions, three shy of the joint season record shared by Hakan Çalhanoğlu and Franck Kessié.
In the following season, injuries limited him to just 30 games, including a bicep injury that saw him miss eleven games in more than a month.
After undergoing foot surgery in the close season, Bennacer played a personal best 40 matches and scored twice in all competitions, as he won his first top-flight title with a Scudetto on the final day of the 2021-22 Serie A campaign.