Hakimi to PSG? The numbers which point to a smart move for Ligue 1 giants

By Sports Desk May 29, 2021

Achraf Hakimi is rumoured to be on the verge of a move to Paris Saint-Germain, with reports from France claiming personal terms have already been agreed.

Following an impressive loan spell at Borussia Dortmund, Hakimi sealed a permanent switch from Real Madrid to Inter in 2020, for a reported €40million.

Hakimi played in 37 of Inter's 38 Serie A fixtures as the Nerazzurri clinched their first Scudetto crown since 2010, making 29 starts. Only Lautaro Martinez (38) featured in more top-flight games for Inter in 2020-21.

He scored seven league goals, including a double against Bologna in December, a total only bettered in Inter's ranks by Martinez (17) and Romelu Lukaku (24), as well as laying on a further eight assists.

The 22-year-old will no doubt be missed by Inter, but the club need to sell, with reports suggesting they must raise up to €100million in transfer fees to help balance their books.

Using Opta data, we look at what he will offer PSG should the move come off.

 

ATTACK THE BEST FORM OF DEFENCE

It was at Dortmund that Spain-born Morocco international Hakimi found his role as a right wing-back, and it was a logical move for Inter to bring in the youngster, given Antonio Conte's preference for a 3-5-2 system.

The move paid off. Hakimi played 3,216 minutes across 45 appearances in all competitions, and by early February had been directly involved in 10 Serie A goals, becoming the first defender to do so in Europe's top five leagues in 2020-21. Maicon – in 2009-10 – was the last Inter defender to score at least six league goals.

He created 46 opportunities, with all but one from open play, while his tally of 12 big chances crafted is a joint team-high alongside Ivan Perisic. Hakimi also delivered 145 crosses from open play, 17 more than any other Inter player, recording an accuracy of 25.52 per cent.

Hakimi is more renowned for his attacking, but helped Inter to eight clean sheets in total – of defenders, Milan Skriniar, Stefan de Vrij (both 14) and Alessandro Bastoni (15), were involved in more.

Indeed, Hakimi's tally of 38 successful tackles is a higher total than any of his fellow defensive team-mates managed.

Hakimi's ball-carrying ability is another major facet of his play. Over 370 carries, he progressed the ball 4,609 metres, at an average of 12.46m.

Sixteen of the carries resulted in a shot, and of all of the full-backs in Europe's top five leagues, Hakimi is top for carries with goals and assists (four and five respectively).

 

A CLEAR UPGRADE

Hakimi's preference to play as a wing-back means PSG may well have to switch to a system which incorporates such a role to get the best out of him.

PSG are in need of a right-back, though. Alessandro Florenzi was loaned in from Roma for 2020-21, while Colin Dagba and Thilo Kehrer – a centre-back by trade – are Mauricio Pochettino's other options.

None can be described as in the same class as Hakimi. He created 22 more chances than Florenzi, albeit having played nine games more than the Italy international, while Dabga and Kehrer only managed 12 and four respectively.

Hakimi won 21 of 56 aerial duels, more than Florenzi (20) or Dagba (two), though Kehrer won 37 of 63.

From 333 duels in total, Hakimi won 168. Kehrer, Florenzi and Dagba won 91, 82 and 57, and the former Madrid man would no doubt present a significant upgrade to PSG's armoury.

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    Marcel Sabitzer: Bayern Munich to Manchester United (loan)

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    Jorginho: Chelsea to Arsenal, £12million

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    Not even many Benfica fans knew much about the midfielder when he arrived from River Plate for a reported fee of €12m in July.

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    The Lisbon club will be pleased they did after making a profit of well over €100m after just half a season, with the midfielder not only impressing in the Primeira Liga and Champions League, but also starring for Argentina as they lifted the World Cup in Qatar last month, with Fernandez claiming the FIFA Best Young Player of the Tournament award.

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    Fernandez showed similar form in the Champions League as Benfica surprisingly won a group that included Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus, before going on to star in the World Cup as well.

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    With great spending comes great expectations though, and the pressure will be immense on Fernandez to not just shine on the big stage, but to do so immediately.

    Chelsea's newest addition could justifiably insist he has done just that with every challenge thrown at him in a short space of time, including the biggest challenge of winning the World Cup.

    Enzo will no doubt back himself to prove he can live up to the price tag and be the Ferrari that Graham Potter needs.

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