Borussia Dortmund has become one of world football’s most sought after locations for nurturing football talent. The German giants’ emphasis on their youth system and developing prospects always makes them one of the most dynamic sides to watch in Europe. Erling Haaland and Jadon Sancho have of course stolen the headlines in 2019/20. No doubt, the Dortmund board will be licking their lips at the ridiculous profits they will make on their two generational talents But Achraf Hakimi certainly deserves more plaudits.
The Moroccan international has gone from strength to strength in the Bundesliga. Having joined Dortmund from Real Madrid on a 2 year loan in 2018, he’s developed into one of Europe’s most desirable young players. Though he hasn’t got anywhere near the attention his two Dortmund teammates have, his performances haven’t gone unnoticed. According to The Athletic, Arsenal are among several clubs interested in him.
Los Blancos of course have the ever-so reliable Dani Carvajal as the starting right back. But Hakimi would provide competition for the 28 year old and, in the foreseeable future, takeover from the Spaniard. Yet with a successful loan spell under his belt and his immense potential, Madrid might not be able to persuade him to stay and play second fiddle. Instead, they could demand a substantial fee of money for their Castilla youth product.
Achraf Hakimi has had a brilliant two years in Germany. This season in particular has seen the Champions League winner come into his own. 7 goals and 10 assists in 37 appearances across all competitions has made the Moroccan a joy to watch. Those are figures you would expect from attacking midfielders, let alone a right-back, a testament to how important he is to the side’s attack.
Achraf Hakimi – Style of Play
The Dortmund loanee has primarily played as a right-back. But can also be deployed as a left back, as well as on the wing. His versatility to perform well across the pitch is part of the reason why so many top sides want him and why Real could charge a hefty fee for their young talent.
At 5ft 11, Hakimi is lightning quick and agile. His blistering pace coupled with his incredible dribbling makes him so dangerous going forward. The video highlights the defender’s ability to glide across the pitch, driving the team forward. Averaging 2.4 dribbles per game in the Bundesliga, you can tell he trained as a winger. The smooth and skilful footwork allows the Real youth product to beat his man with ease in the final third, making him a nightmare for any opposing fullback to deal with.
The 28 times capped Moroccan, shown by his goal and assist figures, has great end product. Unlike many young wingers and defenders who lack the composure in the final third, Hakimi has been a creative outlet for Dortmund. Averaging 1.2 key passes per game, his vision and quality as a playmaker shines through in the video. Whether that be with clever one-twos and intricate flicks or finding his teammates in the opposition box with a simple pass. 7 goals for a defender is impressive too. Hakimi isn’t afraid to test to keeper himself and punishes the opposition expecting him to cross. 7 goals and 10 assists, need I say more?
Then, the defensive side of his game. The Madrid born prospect works tirelessly down the right-hand side. Alongside the attacking qualities, his defensive output has been impressive in 2019/20. With a staggering 2.5 tackles per game in the Champions League, Hakimi balances both sides of his game well.
His effective reading of the game allows him to produce in the opposition box, whilst protect his own box well. A lot of the time, it’s the Moroccan’s quick reactions that help him deal with opposition attacks, whilst also forcing mistakes from opponents when pressing. Hakimi is also good at holding up the ball, often surprising people with his physical strength.
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