Saturday, December 3, 2022

Manchester City Keeping A Keen Eye On Real Madrid Full-Back: What Will He Bring To The Etihad?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

According to a recent report by Carrousel Deportivo de la SER, Manchester City are keeping a keen eye on Real Madrid full-back Achraf Hakimi, who is currently playing on loan at Borussia Dortmund. The same source has also claimed that the Citizens have enquired about the player’s availability in recent weeks. It is believed that the Moroccan defender fits into Pep Guardiola’s plans perfectly, which explains why the Mancunian outfit are so eager to land him (via Carrousel Deportivo de la SER).

Hakimi’s Incredible Form For Dortmund This Season

The 21-year-old has enjoyed a mesmerising loan spell at the Signal Iduna Park following a string of eye-catching performances from the right side of Lucien Favre’s defence. He has netted nine goals and provided ten assists in 43 matches for the German giants this term in multiple competitions, which sheds light on just how much he has improved as a footballer over the past ten months.

Hakimi has been a consistent performer for Dortmund at both ends of the field after averaging 2.1 tackles, 0.9 interceptions, 0.7 clearances, 1.3 shots, 1.1 key passes and 2.2 dribbles per 90 minutes in the Bundesliga and the UEFA Champions League this season. He is also a decent distributor of the ball as evidenced by his pass completion rate of 84.8% in both league and European football so far (stats via whoscored).

The Madrid-born talent has secured 28 senior caps for the Moroccan national team while scoring two goals for his homeland in the process. He will be expected to play a crucial role for his nation when the African Cup of Nations gets underway next year.

Manchester City keeping a keen aye on Achraf Hakimi who is walking in the picture
Dortmund’s Moroccan defender Achraf Hakimi arrives to attend the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Borussia Dortmund, outside the Parc des Princes stadium, in Paris, on March 11, 2020. – The match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Borussia Dortmund, is held behind closed doors due to the spread of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

What Will The Moroccan International Bring To The Etihad Stadium?

Hakimi can use his blistering pace to make some penetrative runs with the ball down the right flank. He can turn on his afterburners when trying to beat his marker in a 1v1 footrace out on the wide areas. The Moroccan youngster has proven his worth as a regular goal-scorer despite playing as a right-back throughout this campaign.

Hakimi excels at delivering some dangerous crosses into the opposition penalty box which explains how he has bagged ten assists this season. He can work his socks off for the benefit of his team and is usually a capable defender inside his half due to his tenacity to win the ball back.

Signing a wide player of Hakimi’s quality and attacking potential will be a massive coup for the Citizens and serve as a boost to their long-term ambitions as a football club. He will be an instant solution to their recent right-back problems with both Kyle Walker and Joao Cancelo struggling to find a run of consistency with their performances this season.

Hakimi will not only add plenty of goals and assists to Pep Guardiola’s first-team but also provide more defensive stability on the right side of his backline. He has the potential to be one of the players of this generation, which is why the Mancunian outfit should go all out in pursuit of his signature this summer.

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