Abdelmounaim Boutouil has proven himself in African football through success in Morocco’s Botola Pro and with the national team during their conquest of the African Nations Championship, but there is still plenty he needs to show in order to establish a permanent spot in European club football. Boutouil is clearly more than capable when it comes to his technical ability and his reading of the game will only improve further with more experience. However, whether this will compensate for a lack of pace and general athleticism remains to be seen. His excellent play in the African Nations Championship against some physically imposing sides indicates that he should be capable of making the jump to competing regularly against more pace and physicality if given extended playing time in Europe.
Boutouil has returned to Union Saint-Gilloise in Belgium and if he remains there for the 2021-22 season rather than going on loan again, then this campaign will provide a good idea of if he is truly ready for club football at a high level. Union SG earned promotion to the top division Belgian Pro League and the team will need to prove themselves immediately to survive the season in a league that continues to grow in stature. If Boutouil can establish himself as at least a squad player in a team that can stay up in their return to the top division, then the pathway is open for him to either stay in the high exposure environment of Belgian football or move on to another European league. Whether he gets that opportunity remains to be seen but Boutouil has certainly earned his chance to compete for a spot this season.