Why Hakimi could be key for Real Madrid once he returns from loan spell
According to Marca, Real Madrid loanee Achraf Hakimi is set to return to Spain when his two-year loan spell at Borussia Dortmund ends this summer.
The Moroccan’s homecoming is expected to pose a challenge to first-choice right-back Dani Carvajal, who has been an undisputed starter at Real Madrid for the past six seasons.
Hakimi has been in sensational form since joining Dortmund in the summer of 2018. The youngster, who was sent on loan to the German outfit to get more regular minutes, after playing second fiddle to Carvajal has grown into one of Europe’s most exciting attacking full-backs in recent times.
He has flourished in Germany, making 49 appearances for the Bundesliga side, scoring 9 goals and assisting 11 times so far.
As he nears the end of his loan spell, Hakimi’s return to Madrid is set to once again reignite the competition between the Moroccan and Carvajal for the right-back spot.
A product of Madrid’s youth system, Hakimi played for the reserves before making his senior team debut in the 2017-18 season. However, an in-form Carvajal, who has been a regular since the 2013-14 season, has been widely preferred over the young Moroccan for the full-back’s role.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid also have right-back Alvaro Odriozola in their ranks. However, he is not expected to be too much of a competition for Hakimi, as he has failed to establish himself since joining them from Real Sociedad last year. The 23-year-old has made 4 La Liga appearances so far this season.
Known for his versatility and physical presence, Hakimi’s arrival would not only pose a challenge for Caravajal but also for many others in the Madrid squad, the Marca report added.
Nevertheless, it remains to be seen as to how Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane would cope with the upcoming right-back conundrum that awaits him at the end of this season. Hakimi, having been a regular at the Westfalenstadion would be keen to start when he returns to his old side.
He has been impressive this season for Dortmund, having featured in all their league games till now. Hakimi, who has 2 goals and 4 assists in the league, has played in a variety of roles since joining them last season.
A player with good positional sense, Hakimi is comfortable playing on both flanks. His 20 appearances at left-back for Dortmund lay further claim to it. Hakimi is not the best of crossers, however, he makes up for it with his good short-passing and link-up play in the final third.
In recent days, he has been made to play up front in the wide areas by Dortmund coach Lucien Favre due to his attacking instincts and excellent overlapping runs. All said and done, only time can tell what awaits the Moroccan when he returns this summer to Santiago Bernabeu.
Whatever the situation may be, Zidane could stay a happy man knowing that he has two world-class full-backs in Hakimi and Carvajal at his disposal.
Though it is too early to guess Hakimi’s future at Madrid right now, one sure thing is that his arrival would offer Zidane a number of options.
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Above all, he would give healthy competition to the likes of Carvajal and Odriozola to vie for a starting place.
Hence, Real Madrid should welcome Hakimi with open hands and not ponder their head too much over the Moroccan’s situation, when he returns from his loan spell.