Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Manchester City Could Enter Race To Land This Serie A Midfielder: What Will He Add To Pep’s Side?

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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.

In a recent report, Calciomercato has claimed that Manchester City could enter the race to land Inter Milan midfielder Achraf Hakimi in the summer. It is understood that Pep Guardiola’s side will face stiff competition from Arsenal and Chelsea in pursuit of the Morocco international (via Calciomercato).

Hakimi’s Productive Season At Milan So Far

Hakimi has enjoyed a brilliant season at the San Siro after producing a series of eye-catching displays on the right side of Antonio Conte’s midfield. The Madrid-born talent has been involved in 27 matches for Inter this term, netting six goals and providing five assists on all fronts.

The 22-year-old has influenced the game at both ends of the pitch as he is averaging 1.4 tackles, 0.7 interceptions, 1.0 shots, 1.1 key passes and 0.9 dribbles per game in the Serie A and the UEFA Champions League group stages this season. He has even been careful when distributing possession from the right-wing as evidenced by his pass completion rate of 83.5% in both those competitions (stats via whoscored).

Hakimi could be tempted with the opportunity to join Man City where he will have a more realistic shot of competing for the UEFA Champions League trophy again. Plus, he will get to work under a world-class manager like Pep Guardiola, who has the experience and the man-management skills to unlock the youngster’s true potential.

Manchester City could enter the race to land Hakimi who is seen in the picture
Achraf Hakimi of FC Internazionale looks on during the Serie A match between Udinese Calcio and FC Internazionale at Dacia Arena on January 23, 2021 in Udine, Italy. (Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images)

What Will The Moroccan Wide Player Add To Pep Guardiola’s Side?

Hakimi is one of the quickest players in the Serie A and can use his pace to get in behind the opposition backline. He has excelled playing on the right side of Conte’s midfield because of his excellent work-rate and crossing ability from the wide areas.

The 31-time Morocco international is an accurate passer of the ball and can contribute offensively by scoring and creating his fair share of goals in the final third. However, the jury is still out on whether he can cope with the physical nature of Premier League football if Man City can lure him to the Etihad Stadium when the transfer window reopens next summer.

There is no denying that Hakimi ticks all the right boxes in terms of what Guardiola expects from his wide players. At 22, he will only get better with each season, so Man City would be wise to move in quickly by engineering a move to acquire his services at the end of this campaign.

Hakimi has primarily been used as a right-winger but is versatile enough to play in both full-backs positions if required. All in all, the Moroccan sensation’s versatility, coupled with his attacking potential, makes him a good option for Guardiola to consider during the summer transfer window.

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