Competition
  • Europa League

REAL MADRID

Achraf ammunition leads the way in Europe's big five leagues

Level with Cristiano, two ahead of Griezmann. Real Madrid's on-loan full-back is lighting up the Bundesliga and part of Operation Return.

Achraf ammunition leads the way in Europe's big five leagues

Achraf Hakimi appears to have no limits. Real Madrid's young full-back, currently on loan with Borussia Dortmund, scored his seventh goal of the season on Tuesday. A very impressive three months concluding with the third goal for Morocco in Burundi where he ran almost 50 metres before beating the goalkeeper. It was as qualifying match for the African Cup and he did it from the right, looking like a true winger. He's currently the top scoring defender across Europe's big five leagues.

Madrid want Achraf back for good things

In the Real Madrid offices their are many who have worn down the skin of their palms from excitedly rubbing them together so much. Achraf is included in next summer's 'Operation Return', a plan that is looking ever more prudent. Not only are the current group starting to find their feet in LaLiga and the Champions League but they have a crop of on-loan stars waiting to be called back after reaching a required level of development at their respective clubs.

Dortmund will likely miss their talented full-back and the question in Spain is how to incorporate him into the Bernabéu set-up. His flexibility to fill up to three positions (right or left side of a four or as part of a three) opens a host of possibilities for Zinedine Zidane, and his style is as close as Los Blancos would have to peak Marcelo. Even the Brazilian has never scored more than six goals in an entire season.

Running man | Morocco's defender Achraf Hakimi during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations against Namibia.

Running man | Morocco's defender Achraf Hakimi during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations against Namibia.

More goals than Griezmann

Leaving aside the most recent goal with Morocco (only his second for the Atlas Lions in 27 appearances), his six goals with the Bundesliga club at this point in the season make him not only the most prolific defender across the top five leagues in Europe, but he is also rubbing striking shoulders with goal-scoring specialists.

Take Cristiano Ronaldo for example. He has scored no more with Serie A giants Juventus. Paco Alcácer, Reus, Dybala, and even Griezmann at Barça haven't been able to keep up with him. The Frenchman has only scored four, the same as Sergio Ramos, since making his big-money move to the Camp Nou.

Achraf dreaming of Madrid home

In the current Madrid team, only Karim Benzema has scored more goals than Achraf, the boy that has already started talking openly about his return to Chamartín.

Battling | Achraf for Borussia Dortmund against Bayern Munich.

Battling | Achraf for Borussia Dortmund against Bayern Munich.

"I grew up at Madrid, it's the club I call home and I'd like to keep on growing as a player there," he said when he sat down with us recently.

His attacking strengths are a factor that make the 21-year old such a prized asset, after a complete recovery from a serious injury from last season. Everyone associated with Madrid will hope that he can continue with the same form for the rest of the campaign in Germany, and then welcome him back to LaLiga all guns blazing in 2020.