21-year old Real Madrid youth product Achraf Hakimi has signed for Inter Milan on a 5-year contract for a fee of £36million.
The full back has spent the last two seasons on loan at Borussia Dortmund, making 73 appearances in which he scored 12 goals and made 17 assists. These types of numbers, largely from full-back, have attracted a great deal of attention.
Hakimi started his professional career with Real Madrid Castilla in the Segunda Division and made 28 starts before breaking into the 1st team the following year. He scored his first goal in a 5-0 win over Sevilla on 9th December 2017.
In the Champions League final against Liverpool that same season, Hakimi wasn’t in the squad for the final but the Moroccan received a Champions League meal and was the first player from his country to do so.
However, with Dani Carvajal firmly positioned at right-back, it was decided that it would be best for Hakimi to go out on loan.
A two-year loan deal to Borussia Dortmund followed for the full back and he was able to adapt to Lucien Favre’s style of football with great ease. Already he has demonstrated the ability to play a variety of philosophies and formations
Hakimi is a quick, dynamic and intelligent full back who is tactically and technically capable. He can play both short and long balls alongside linking up play quickly.
Having originally been a winger, Hakimi is replete with attacking capabilities and instincts, this makes him a huge threat going forward which is seen as essential for any modern day full-back.
Antonio Conte often plays a system with three at the back, meaning there is a very good chance Hakimi will occupy the wing-back position. This will suit Hakimi because he has the speed and endurance to get up and down the field, playing a major role in both attack and defence.
Hakimi’s ability to both create and convert chances will add a new dimension to Conte’s team and will undoubtedly help them challenge for major honours in the years to come.
For £36million, Hakimi is an absolute steal. At just 21-years old he is already arguably one of the best full-backs in the world.Five years at the San Siro will give the Spanish-born Moroccan international the stability required to ensure he goes from strength to strength.