Hassan Kachloul

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Hassan Kachloul is a former Moroccan winger who was born in Agadir, Morocco on 19th February 1973. Kachloul moved to France at a young age, before enrolling at Nimes in 1988, his first professional club. He made his breakthrough in the early 1990s, evolving into a fantastic creative midfielder with a real eye for goal. In 1995 Kachloul made the move to fellow French outfit Metz. He struggled to establish himself as a regular for Les Grenats, making just seven appearances during 1995/96. He had a successful spell with minnows USL Dunkerque in 1996/97, before joining Saint-Etienne in another temporary switch the following campaign. Kachloul agreed a mutual termination with Metz in the summer of 1998.

Kachloul had a trial with Turkish side Erzurumspor not long after his release from Metz. He flirted with a number of offers, before eventually signing with Dave Jones' Southampton. Kachloul made his Saints bow for the reserves on 13th October 1998 at West Ham. He featured in a further two second string matches, before making his first team debut on 21st November 1998 in the closing stages of a 2-0 win at Blackburn. A week later Kachloul made his first start in a 1-0 home defeat to Derby.

Kachloul quickly became a fans favourite at the Dell, dazzling fans with some eye-catching skill. The Moroccan could also pass, and had brilliant timing, especially when it came to making late runs into the box. He scored his first Saints goal on 19th December 1998 in a vital 3-1 win over Wimbledon. On 26th December 1998 he netted against fellow strugglers Nottingham Forest in a 1-1 draw. Kachloul also scored in wins over Charlton, Leeds and West Ham, helping Saints to another remarkable great escape.

Kachloul continued to thrive at Southampton during 1999/2000. He tore Rudd Gullit's Newcastle apart on 15th August 1999, bagging two goals in a 4-2 win on a wet Sunday afternoon. Two weeks later he scored against Sheffield Wednesday at the Dell. Kachloul's form soon earned him an international recall. He was one of Saints' most impressive performers over the season. Kachloul spent much of January 2000 in Nigeria as part of Morocco's Africa Nations Cup squad. He ended the campaign strongly, scoring in a 2-1 defeat to Leicester on 29th April 2000.

Kachloul began 2000/01 in stunning fashion, netting a brace against Derby on the opening day of the season. His maintained a decent level of consistency throughout the season, with Saints coasting to a mid-table finish. On 9th December 2000 he was sent off in a 1-0 win over Leeds, after being embroiled in a brawl. Kachloul saw red after attempting to head-butt the loveable Lee Bowyer. Later in the campaign he netted in the infamous 4-3 FA Cup defeat at Tranmere. He ended the season in style with a double in the last game at the Dell against Arsenal.

Contract negotiations had long since turned sour prior to Kachloul's Arsenal swansong. He had verbally agreed a deal with Ipswich who had just secured a 5th place finish, only to change his mind at the last minute to sign for Aston Villa. Kachloul was accused of being greedy by the Southampton fans who once admired him. He received a significant pay-rise to join Villa.

Unfortunately Kachloul never hit the heights he did at Southampton at Villa Park. He made 31 appearances during 2001/02 in all competitions. The former Metz man looked good on occasions, but struggled for consistency. On 24th September 2001 he received a frosty reception on his return to Southampton. Villa won 3-1 that night in one of the first outings at the new St Mary's stadium. Kachloul netted in a win against Charlton and draw against Leeds in the autumn of 2001.

Kachloul received precious few opportunities at Aston Villa following the departure of manager John Gregory. He made just a single appearance in 2002/03, a 2-0 defeat to FC Zurich in the Intertoto Cup. Kachloul linked up with Dave Jones again in 2003/04, signing for Wolves in a loan deal. He made only four appearances for the Premier League newcomers before succumbing to injury. Kachloul left Aston Villa for good in the summer of 2004.

On 31st March 2005 Kachloul signed for Livingston. The Moroccan scored on his debut, a 1-1 draw with Dunfermline. He later netted in a 3-0 win at Hibernian, but his eight game spell with the Lions is more memorable for other reasons. Kachloul had signed for Livingston as an 'amateur' outside of the transfer window, but was discovered to have been receiving payments from Livingston. Fellow relegation strugglers Dundee and Dunfermline kicked up a fuss, arguing to the SPL that Livingston should have received a points deduction. The league explained that clubs are entitled to register players as professionals outside the transfer window as long as they are unattached. They argued that Livingston had not actually gained any competitive advantage, so no points deduction was imposed. The club were fined 15,000 however. Kachloul helped Livingston finish above both Dunfermline and relegated Dundee.

Kachloul had an unsuccessful trial with Derby during 2005/06. He struggled to find top level employment, and eventually elected to hang up his boots. Kachloul became a property developer after retiring from football. In March 2007 FourFourTwo ran a feature on the Moroccan's new career.