As reported by Fabrizio Romano (via the Guardian), it’s no longer news that Inter are closing in on a deal to sign Real Madrid right-back Achraf Hakimi.
Achraf Hakimi to Inter, last details to be completed in next hours and then… deal done!
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 26, 2020
The Moroccan international is currently on loan at Borussia Dortmund, but his two-year arrangement is coming to an end. Real Madrid sent Hakimi out on loan with the hopes of him returning as a starter in Spain but it would appear his future lies somewhere else – under Antonio Conte.
At 21, Hakimi has already grown to be one of the most exciting right-backs in world football. To that effect, it’s no surprise a host of European elites were intent on his services.
The Nerazzurri had to ward off interest from the likes of Bayern Munich and Manchester City to sign the promising right-back. Much of that imminent signing is down to Antonio Conte. Hakimi is reported to have been interested in the Italian tactician’s project at the San Siro.
Looking at most of the transfer developments surrounding Inter of late, it would explain why the 21-year-old is the ideal Antonio Conte signing. The Inter boss is a well-known lover of a wing-back oriented system, which has been a trademark style of his wherever he has managed across Europe.
That explains why Inter did bring in Victor Moses with the hopes that he could play a similar role to the one he did under Conte at Chelsea. That has not exactly gone according to plan so far. It would also explain why the Nerazzurri were recently linked to Manchester City right-back Kyle Walker over the past few weeks.
The similar trait to the aforementioned players above alongside Hakimi is their attacking intent and ability to play as advanced full-backs. Not to forget the obvious fact of pace which is an attribute all these players share. For Hakimi, there are obvious question marks over his defensive abilities but his attacking setup means he’ll fit in perfectly to Antonio Conte’s style of play.
Nine goals and 10 assists in 45 appearances for Borussia Dortmund this term (via Transfermarkt) are numbers some wingers would be proud of. Coming from a defender makes it all the more impressive.
Hakimi also has an explosive pace that can come in handy in counter-attacks and he also comes in as an asset for whipping in crosses.
One more thing that makes him an ideal Conte signing is his versatility. The 21-year-old can play as right-back and left-back and can also be deployed on both sides as a winger. A player that can be utilized in a number of setups is always bound to flourish under Conte. Take Lautaro Martinez for instance.
Hakimi already had his audition in front of the Inter boss when Inter met Borussia Dortmund at the Signal Iduna Park last November. On a night where Conte was furious as his side blew a 2-0 lead to lose 3-2, the 21-year-old was a huge part of his side’s comeback – bagging a brace and getting also involved in the third goal.
In summary, this imminent signing is a perfect business by Inter. €40M for a player of his age and abilities is an absolute steal in the current market. Even better that he’s still 21 and can only improve as the years go by.