WHERE TO HAKIMI?

WHERE TO HAKIMI?

Inter Milan lifted the Serie A title twelve points clear of their second-place Milan rivals. The quality the team showed was paramount and unrivalled in the league. An excellent system of play that was backed by an interesting choice of personnel. Achraf Hakimi, the right wing-back, of 22 years of age shined in this well thought out system. Let’s find out what the future hold for this young star.

 

 

PLAYER ANALYSIS

The Moroccan international has been phenomenal this season. He contributed to fifteen goals in the league, scoring seven and providing eight, all from the right flank. He is third in goals scored and second in assists in Inter. Only Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez have a better tally than the right-back.

 

 

Although he operates as a wing-back he was instrumental in the attacking phase for Inter. Averaging nearly forty passes and nearly four crosses per ninety minutes, Hakimi showed his class. If the manager desires so, Hakimi could even fit perfectly in as a winger. The player attempts at least two dribbles per game and is often successful than not.

Going forward, Hakimi is a beast. However, he is also exceptional in defence. Boasting a 68 per cent tackle success rate, Hakimi is rarely outclassed. When Inter is out of possession, the wing-back is keen on winning it back. Hakimi averages nearly 16 pressures per game, which is higher than the average player in the league. An asset, both in attack and defence.

WHERE NEXT?

Achraf Hakimi only landed in Italy last summer. He came through the ranks in the Real Madrid academy and signed a professional contract in 2017. He was sent to Borussia Dortmund on loan to get some experience. Both Dortmund and Hakimi benefitted from this move. An eye-catching two years led Inter to make a move for the right-back who has now been the most influential player on the right side.

 

 

So, why would Inter Milan want to sell their newly acquired talent? Well, it seems like their financial woes are getting the better of the club. Manager Antonio Conte has walked away after a spectacular season. The players are also being sold in order to get the club out of tough waters. Hakimi will bring the cash they desperately need.

The wing-back will earn them a tag of nearly sixty million euros upwards. Although the Nerazzurri would prefer to sell the player for twice the money he came in for, the circumstances might lead them to settle for less. This will be the perfect opportunity for any club to sweep the player. Chelsea and PSG have reportedly entered a race for the player and it will be interesting to see where it leads.

THE BEST OPTION

PSG are once again in a transition phase. They failed to win the league in what seems like an eternity and once again scuffed an opportunity to win the Champions League. Hence, the club will be eager to bring in some big names to change the circumstances. Neymar’s contract extension was a massive start and it seems like Kylian Mbappe might also stay. Bringing in young talents like Hakimi seems like the best way forward.

 

 

PSG necessarily don’t need a re-build. All they require are tweaks. Hakimi will likely fit straight into the team and will provide more options in the right flank. His defensive presence combined with his ability to attack will provide the team with the versatility they need. If PSG does match Inter’s asking price, PSG will be investing in a fine talent.

However, from Hakimi’s perspective, it would be a better decision to opt for the Premier League side, Chelsea. Thomas Tuchel’s half-season at the London club has been one of the most eventful campaigns in the club for a long time. The Chelsea side that was left in shambles when Lampard left is now champions of Europe. They beat Pep Guardiola’s much-revered side three times. Tuchel has revolutionised the blues and the fans are loving it.

 

 

Yet, it isn’t the success of the side that is alluring. Thomas Tuchel has deployed a system that is efficient in attack and defence. A system that could very well suit the Moroccan international. Like Antonio Conte, Tuchel also deployed a three-man defence with wing-backs for flank cover. Hakimi will slide right into the system.

 

 

Although Chelsea has another young talent in the form of Reece James that is making a claim as the first choice, Hakimi will still be the better option. James can also be deployed as a right centre-back, and the addition of Hakimi will provide the necessary depth which the squad needs. The Premier League is also a much more enticing league than the Ligue 1. Fellow international teammate, Hakim Ziyech’s presence in the Chelsea squad will also be an alluring factor.

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