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Morocco national team head coach Herve Renard has named his squad for this month’s international friendlies against Serbia and Uzbekistan notably handing a call to Renaissance Berkane forward Ayoub El Kaabi.

The 2018 Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) top scorer will have his first opportunity at a full international level with the national team.

Legane’s Nordin Amrabat has been recalled after several months out in the cold. Amrabat has been in red hot form for his club recently scoring crucial goals.

Renard has also called up midfielder Younes Belhanda ,Nabil Dirar as well as Yassin Ayoub and Zakaria Labyad who both turn for Utrecht.

Notable omissions include Italy-based defender Jawad El Yamiq and Wydad Casablanca winger Ismail Haddad who also failed to make the cut despite his remarkable performance in the domestic league.

Morocco will first play Serbia in Turin, Italy on 23 March and then Uzbekistan at home in Casablanca four days later as part of preparations for the 2018 World Cup that will be hosted in the month of June in Russia.

Full squad:

Goalkeepers: Mounir El Kajoui (Numancia, Spain), Yassine Bounou (Girona, Spain), Ahmad Reda Tagnaouti (Ittihad Tanger)

Defenders: Mehdi Benatia (Juventus, Italy), Ghanem Saiss (Wolves, England), Achraf Hakimi (Real Madrid, Spain), Nabil Dirar (Fenerbahce, Turkey), Badr Banoun (Raja Casablanca), Manuel da Costa (Başakşehir, Turkey), Oualid El Hajjam (Amiens, France), Hamza Mendyl (Lille, France)

Midfielders: Hakim Ziyech (Ajax, Netherlands), Fayçal Fajr (Getafe, Spain), Soufiane Boufal (Southampton, England), Nordin Amrabat (Leganés, Spain), Karim El Ahmadi and Sofyan Amrabat (Feyenoord, Netherlands), Younes Belhanda (Galatasaray, Turkey), Mbark Boussoufa (Al Jazeera, UAE), Amine Harit (Schalke, Germany), Zakaria Labyad and Yassin Ayoub (Utrecht, Netherlands), Youssef Aït-Bennasser (Caen, France)

Forwards: Khalid Boutaïb (Malatyaspor, Turkey), Yacine Bammou (Nantes, France), Walid Azaro (Al Ahly, Egypt), Ayoub El Kaabi (Renaissance Berkane), Aziz Bouhaddouz (Saint Pauli, Germany)

A lover of African football who boasts experience in journalism, having previously worked at Brand Agenda Publications, East Africa University News and University Post in Uganda before moving to Soka25east.com. On Twitter @fgchuma

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