Why Real Madrid keeping hold of 21-year-old ace amidst Arsenal interest could be useful

Why Real Madrid should hold onto Achraf Hakimi despite Arsenal interest

According to The Athletic, Arsenal are in pursuit of Real Madrid right-back Achraf Hakimi.

The Moroccan full-back currently plies his trade with German outfit Borussia Dortmund, where he has been on loan since moving from his parent club Madrid in the summer of 2018.

Achraf Hakimi is on loan from Real Madrid (Getty Images)
Achraf Hakimi is on loan at Borussia Dortmund from Real Madrid. (Getty Images)

Hakimi, meanwhile, has been an instant hit in Germany during his time there, with Arsenal’s rivals Chelsea also hot in the hunt for the full-back’s signature. The right-back’s time at Dortmund is, however, around the corner, with his loan spell set to expire at the end of this season.

Meanwhile, there is some uncertainty regarding Hakimi’s future at Madrid, with the report suggesting that Real Madrid could be tempted to sell the player if they receive an offer of around £53million. Arsenal, on the other hand, need a replacement for their injury-prone first-choice right-back Hector Bellerin, who has not been at his best since returning from a long injury layoff in January.

The Gunners seem to be big-admirers of the Moroccan’s versatility, something which Hakimi has put to great display since featuring for Dortmund. Since his move to the Bundesliga, Hakimi has played a total of 65 matches across all competitions for the Dortmund.

Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerin has not looked the same since his return from injury in January.
Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerin has not looked the same since his return from injury in January. (Getty Images)

During this spell, Hakimi has not just played the right-back role but has also been used in a number of positions. He has played as a left-back and has often been deployed a little up front in the midfield roles across both the flanks due to his attacking abilities.

This season, out of his 37 appearances for Dortmund, Hakimi has often featured in the right midfield role, making 22 appearances there in total.

Real Madrid have a problem at hand, as they have just one right-back at the moment. Spaniard Dani Carvajal remains Zinedine Zidane’s obvious first-choice on the right due to his consistency and vast experience.

Real Madrid's Spanish defender Dani Carvajal controls the ball during a La Liga encounter.
Real Madrid’s Spanish defender Dani Carvajal controls the ball during a La Liga encounter. (Getty Images)

Carvajal has featured 22 times for the Spanish side and has one goal and five assists to his name, thus proving his credentials as one of the world’s best right-backs. However, it is hard to ignore Hakimi’s growing stature in recent times. The Moroccan has an impressive three goals and 10 assists from 25 league games for Dortmund this season.

Hakimi’s rise has been evident even before as he scored two goals and gave four assists from 21 games in his maiden Bundesliga season for Dortmund. The 21-year-old’s sensational displays at such a young age is something to look forward for Zidane, whose Madrid side have a clear dearth of players in that department.

Achraf Hakimi won the 2019 African Youth Player award (Getty Images)
Achraf Hakimi playing for Borussia Dortmund last year. (Getty Images)

Hence, it would be wise of Madrid to keep hold of their talented youngster amidst interest from clubs such as Arsenal.

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Verdict

With Madrid just having Carvajal at right-back, letting go of a talented player like Hakimi, seems really impractical at the moment. Moreover, Carvajal is 28 now and Hakimi could be their next main man in the full-back role in the coming years. Hence, Real Madrid should ward off interest in the player and try to keep him.