Essaïd Belkalem was born on 1 January 1989. He is an Algerian footballer who last played as a defender for Orléans and the Algeria national team. In 2008, Belkalem was promoted to the JS Kabylie senior team from the club’s junior ranks. In the 2009–2010 season, Belkalem made 20 appearances, scoring 1 goal.
On 18 July 2010, Belkalem scored JS Kabylie’s only goal in the win over Egyptian club Ismaily in the group stage of the 2010 CAF Champions League with a powerful header in the 75th minute. In June 2013, with his contract with JS Kabylie expired, it was announced that Essaid had signed a five-year contract with Spanish La Liga club Granada, joining them on a free transfer. Belkalem signed for Championship club Watford on a season-long loan on 12 August 2013. He will wear the number 5 shirt. He made his debut for Watford in their 2–0 League Cup victory over Bournemouth on 28 August 2013, playing the full 90 minutes. His league debut came in a 1–1 draw at home to Charlton Athletic on 14 September 2013.
After moving to Watford on a permanent basis in the summer of 2014, Essaid made the move to Turkish Süper Lig side Trabzonspor on a season-long loan deal linking up with former Algeria coach Vahid Halilhodžić. Played 16 league, 8 Europa League games, scoring 3 goals, Belkalem finalized his loan spell at Tranbzonspor on 2 June 2015. In 2007, Essaid was called up to the Algerian U20 National Team for the first edition of the Mediterranean Trophy held in Sicily, Italy. In 2008, he started in a 2009 African Youth Championship qualifier against Mauritania. In August 2009, he received his first call-up to the Algeria Under-23 national team for a week-long training camp in Algiers. In 2010, he was called up to the Algeria A’ national team for a qualifier against Libya.
On 31 May 2014, Belkalem played an International Friendly, he scored his first international goal, he scored the first goal of the match between his team Algeria against Armenia and Algeria won the match by score of 3–1. He was later included in Algeria’s squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, helping them to the Round of 16 for the first time ever. In 2009, Essaid was chosen as the third best young talent in the Algerian Championnat National behind Abderahmane Hachoud and Youcef Ghazali in a vote conducted by DZFoot.