The summer of change continues for Columbus Crew SC. The Black & Gold announced on Friday the signing of Moroccan winger Youness Mokhtar.
Mokhtar, 27, was out of contract before signing with the Crew but most recently played for Stabaek of the Norwegian First Division. Throughout his career, Mokhtar has made 170 appearances in first division leagues across the Netherlands, Norway, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, scoring 28 goals and providing 31 assists.
According to the press release, Targeted Allocation Money was used in this transaction. Sources close to the Black & Gold told Massive Report that Mokhtar comes to the team on very reasonable wages.
“We would like to welcome Youness Mokhtar to Columbus Crew SC. Youness is a creative and dynamic player who can add variety to our attack,” Crew President and General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko said in the press release. “As a veteran, he brings years of proven European experience to our Club. We believe that his specific skill set will allow him to thrive in MLS.”
Mokhtar began his professional career in the PSV Eindhoven Youth Academy but never made an appearance for the first team. The winger did play in the Dutch Eredivisie, Netherlands’ top division, for PEC Zwolle and FC Twente. While with PSV, Mokhtar went on loan to FC Eindhoven of Eerste Divisie, the second division of Dutch soccer, making 25 appearances.
In 2015, Mokhtar made the move to Saudi Arabia, joining Al-Nassr of the Pro League. He made just seven appearances for the club, scoring no goals. Mokhtar then returned to the Netherlands with PEC Zwolle, featuring 56 times from 2016 to 2018 and scoring 12 goals.
It was back to Turkey in 2018, playing in the Super Lig with MKE Ankaragucu. There, Mokhtar made 12 appearances, scoring one goal.
Mokhtar joined Stabaek in 2019 but only saw the field twice before leaving the club.
Born in the Netherlands to Moroccan parents, Mokhtar has featured for the Dutch Under-17 and Under-18 teams, as well as playing for Morocco at the Under-20 and Under-21 levels.
Mokhtar is a left winger who has also shown the ability to play on the right. He is a player who likes to be on the ball to create with little hesitancy to shoot.
It has been a busy summer transfer window for the Crew. The Black & Gold announced a trade for Romario Williams from Atlanta United on July 1. The following day, Columbus announced the addition of 20-year-old Costa Rican winger Luis Diaz from C.S. Herediano. On July 5, the Black & Gold signed Curacao National Team goalkeeper Eloy Room. On Wednesday, multiple reports came out that Columbus has completed a trade with Toronto FC for forward Jordan Hamilton. The Crew recently sent Brazilian winger Robinho to Orlando City SC for Targeted Allocation Money.