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Nesrine Bahlouli 2022/23 - scout report tactical analysis tactics

What Olympique Lyonnais’s wonderkid Nesrine Bahlouli can add to Milan Women – scout report

Nesrine Bahlouli has just been transferred from Olympique Lyonnais to Milan Women for two seasons and a half to reinforce the Rossoneri’s squad and get better opportunities and possibly more playing time at the Italian club. She is considered as one of the French wonderkids since she is now 19 years old and she has therefore been playing regularly in the French U19 national team in addition to a few participations with the senior Lyon team, especially during the last summer.

Bahlouli is a technical player who developed as a football player at CS Lyon at 8 from 2012 to 2013 before moving to Olympique Lyonnais where she became a more competitive player and therefore started playing for the French U16, U17 and then France U19 after she convinced the French national team coaching staff with her performances in the U15 Olympique Lyonnais mixed team. She also won the French national championship with Lyon U19 in 2022 and was an active contributor to their success before participating with the senior team in a few games and getting transferred to Milan.

In this tactical analysis scout report, we will focus on Nesrine Bahlouli’s main characteristics, strengths and weaknesses as well as how can Milan benefit from her talent and where exactly she could be more useful on the pitch.

Positions and roles

In order to suit Milan’s tactics and help them become more dangerous from an attacking perspective and propose an attacking alternative, it would be very beneficial to use Bahlouli as a left winger in the 4-2-3-1 formation since Milan’s coaching staff have recently resorted to this formation instead of the 3-5-2 or the 3-4-1-2 formation. Playing on the left wing would get the best out of Bahlouli especially when knowing that she is used to playing in this position and that she has the characteristics needed to succeed in such a role.

Nevertheless, she will have to develop even further especially in terms of physical strength in order to cope with Serie A Women’s playing style and win as many duels as possible, and this work on physical abilities would obviously be one of the coaching staff’s missions during the first period.

As you can see below in this heat map, Bahlouli is usually positioned on the left flank and she covers the whole flank as she advanced regularly and retreats to defend and help the left back so often as it is one of her roles as a left winger. At the same time, we see her move towards the centre so often to alternate her plays and be more involved in the attacking actions either by cutting inside or by joining the box to be at the end of crosses.

Nevertheless, Bahlouli can also play as a left midfielder or as a right winger since she did interpret these roles previously and therefore she is used to playing in these positions. However, Maurizio Ganz will have to be very attentive to where exactly he is going to play her since putting her in a non-familiar position would put her in trouble, especially if she will not be given the necessary explanations of her role and is not being trained on that role. And given her lack of experience at a senior level, she will have to be monitored intelligently in order to provide her with the necessary means to succeed and not get lost mentally. In other words, the coaching staff’s mission will be to ensure that she adapts well to Serie A and to Milan’s playing style and help her perform at her best.

Nesrine Bahlouli 2022/23 - scout report tactical analysis tactics

Goalscoring and dribbling skills

Bahlouli’s goalscoring skills are actually good and can be developed even further with adequate training as well as with match participation. She has got some fairly good shooting skills and abilities that allow her to confuse goalkeepers and aim at shooting from distance as well. Yet, working on increasing her accuracy rates in terms of shots from distance would help her a lot in this regard and will make her a more dangerous winger inside the box and from outside the box as well.

As a winger, she will be put in situations where she has to aim at shooting from outside the box and that’s why it will be fundamental to excel when executing these shots. In the following example from the match of France U19 against Spain U19, Bahlouli showed a glimpse of her individual skills when she advanced with the ball in this counterattack while being chased by two defenders. She resisted their disturbance and decided to shoot on goal despite noticing that a third defender is about to tackle her. Bahlouli was still able to shoot the ball accurately and score the goal despite being unbalanced due to the defenders’ disturbance, which highlights her determination and her excellent stamina when having the ball.

Nesrine Bahlouli 2022/23 - scout report tactical analysis tactics

In terms of her finishing touch, Bahlouli can become more clinical if she works on accuracy and especially if she improves her decision-making. Becoming quicker in taking decisions inside the final third would help her gain some precious seconds over her markers since we noticed that she hesitates in situations where she has to act quickly.

Defenders are actually very attentive and can read the player’s intentions accurately, especially if these players show their intentions or be hesitant. That’s why enhancing her decision-making would serve Bahlouli a lot in this regard. The following example just shows her attempting to shoot from outside the box but with hesitation and not with so much determination, and perhaps that’s why the ball went off target afterwards.

Nesrine Bahlouli 2022/23 - scout report tactical analysis tactics

Bahlouli, however, is outstanding in terms of dribbling and in dealing with tight spaces. She has the ability to get out of difficult marking situations and break lines using her pace and her quick dribbling skills. She proved these abilities on numerous occasions and perhaps this example shows it very well. It was in a friendly match against Monterrey when she was surrounded by three opposition players while she was fixing her direct opponent in the centre of the pitch. She quickly dribbled past her and accelerated as the arrow shows and broke Monterrey’s defensive line to create an attack for her team.

Nesrine Bahlouli 2022/23 - scout report tactical analysis tactics

Bahlouli also masters dribbling on the left-wing and especially when cutting inside. She can avoid any defender using her quick dribbles and body feints since she is very agile. The next picture shows how she made dribbling past her marker look effortless as she was planning to cut inside and shoot or cross the ball to a teammate.

Milan will have to exploit Bahlouli’s excellent dribbling skills on the wings and instruct her to cut inside so often in order to create dangerous opportunities either by shooting by herself or by planning some concrete attacking combinations with her teammates.

Nesrine Bahlouli 2022/23 - scout report tactical analysis tactics

Playmaking and assists

Bahlouli has got a fairly good vision and very good passing skills. And with more experience, she can become even more accurate in terms of passes and therefore more dangerous and effective. What is already excellent with Bahlouli is that she is able to alternate between passing with the right or the left foot without impacting the quality of her passes.

Moreover, she is able to make early crosses or pass after reaching the goal line. Being accustomed to these different plans makes her adaptation process quicker and allows her to be more comfortable on the pitch since she already knows what she needs to do on the wing. The following example just highlights her weaker foot passing abilities, knowing that this was an assist to a goal. In fact, Bahlouli can be extremely dangerous in terms of passing and Milan should exploit these abilities in the best possible way.

Nesrine Bahlouli 2022/23 - scout report tactical analysis tactics

Moreover, Bahlouli was able to make another assist during the same match, on the same flank and by surpassing the same direct marker, and this shows her confidence in her abilities. She was able to quickly exclude her marker with an excellent dribble before passing the ball with the exterior part of her foot. This touch highlights the variety of passing that Bahlouli can propose, knowing that she was able to pass using her left foot like in the other example, but she preferred going for the exterior right-footed pass.

Being creative in terms of passes can help Bahlouli and Milan a lot if she works harder on increasing her passing accuracy rates, especially inside the final third.

Nesrine Bahlouli 2022/23 - scout report tactical analysis tactics


Nesrine Bahlouli is a very promising player who can succeed at Milan if given an adequate amount of playing time and if exploited intelligently, as this analysis has shown.

It is a smart transfer made by Milan because they are lacking quality on the left wing, knowing that Valentina Bergamaschi who plays in that position at times is naturally a right-back and not a winger. Moreover, having promising and technical alternatives like Bahlouli can help Milan a lot in Serie A, especially when facing direct opponents like Juventus, Inter, Sassuolo and Roma.