Life in Italy has started horrendously for Juventus loanee Mohamed Ihattaren.
Ihattaren joined the Bianconeri from PSV in the summer for a fee in the region of €6m before being loaned out to Sampdoria for the 2021/22 campaign.
However, the gifted Dutchman is yet to make an appearance for the Blucerchiati and is now reported missing in the Netherlands after returning to his homeland over the international break for “family reasons”.
Where is Ihattaren?
Ihattaren’s fitness has been a major factor in his non-existent start to calcio life. The 19-year-old was deemed five kilograms overweight by Sampdoria, who placed him on a tailored fitness programme.
The Dutchman was reportedly ready to make his Serie A debut last weekend as Samp visited Cagliari, but he’s gone AWOL since his return to the Netherlands.
According to Gazzetta dello Sport (via Calciomercato), Ihattaren is said to have returned to his homeland on October 12, with the teenager telling the club he departed Italy for “family reasons” but Sampdoria haven’t heard from him since. The Dutch media haven’t been able to contact him either and some are genuinely concerned about his well-being.
Ihattaren hasn’t been seen in his hometown, Utrecht.
While talented, Ihattaren’s off the field issues have marred his senior career up to this point. The passing of his father in October 2019 proved a major turning point, with Mostapha Ihattaren a huge influence and inspiration to his son, who was deeply affected by his death.
In truth, he’s been on a downward spiral ever since but a move to Juventus offered the teenager a fresh start at one of Europe’s elite clubs.
However, it appears his off the field issues continue to haunt him and it’ll be incredibly complicated for Ihattaren to return to Sampdoria and play following this latest episode. He doesn’t want to be there – neither do Samp – and Juventus may attempt to loan him out elsewhere in January.