Morocco's Jawad El Yamiq relishes his move to Italy's Genoa

Jawad El Yamiq in action for Morocco
Morocco's Jawad El Yamiq (in red) played in the final of the African Nations Championship against Nigeria

Morocco defender Jawad El Yamiq has said his versatility will be an asset at his new Italian club Genoa.

The 25-year-old signed from Raja Casablanca on transfer deadline day just three days before helping Morocco win the African Nations Championship (CHAN) title.

His 31 January move had cast doubt on whether he could play in the 4-0 win over Nigeria in the final but he was eventually cleared to appear.

"I am a quick player and good in the air. I think I'm also strong in physical duels with opponents, but of course I'm not perfect and can always improve." he said.

"I've played with a three-man defence before, so it's not an issue. If the Coach asks, I'll even play in goal!

"I didn't expect to come to Genoa, but when the offer arrived, I had no doubts and immediately accepted. I will give my all for this club."

He said that he talked to compatriots Adel Taarabt, who plays for Genoa, and Juventus defender Mehid Benatia about the move.

"I called Adel Taarabt before coming to Genoa and he spoke very highly of the city." he added.

"I can see he was right, it's beautiful. I am at an ambitious club with a glorious history and hope to be a protagonist in its future.

"Mehdi Benatia is like a brother to me. He encouraged me to come here and take this opportunity.

"I talk to him every day and he pushes me on to do more, because doing well in Italy will be very important for my career.

"It's helpful that there is already such a big Moroccan community in Genoa, including my sister.

"That's why I've known about the Genoa derby for many years. I always asked her to send me a jersey and she never did. Now I have one of my own."

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