REAL MADRID

Real Madrid's Achraf Hakimi doubts

Madrid are pleased with the full-back's progress at Borussia Dortmund and want him to return, but are aware that regular football is his priority.

Real Madrid's Achraf Hakimi doubts
REUTERS

Looking at the figures, there can be no doubt that Achraf Hakimi has been a great addition to Borussia Dortmund in his two years on loan at the club: so far, the full-back has amassed 5,249 minutes of action across 65 appearances, scored 10 goals and supplied 17 assists, and helped them to a German Super Cup.

Achraf has kicked on significantly at Borussia Dortmund

When it comes to Dortmund's effect on furthering his development as a footballer, meanwhile, that too has been a clear success. He has operated in four positions, as part of both four and five-men defences, and has smoothed off the rough edges he showed in 2017/18, his only campaign in the Real Madrid first team to date.

Now 21, Achaf has established himself as a top-level performer.

Given how well things have gone in Germany, a hugely impressed Madrid are keen to have him in their squad next season - but that eagerness does not come without doubts. At the Bernabéu, there is an awareness that Achraf is desperate not to lose momentum in the progress he's making - something which could happen at Madrid, given he'll be competing for a place with Dani Carvajal.

Achraf pictured after Borussia Dortmund's Champions League defeat to Paris Saint-Germain earlier in March.

Achraf eager for regular football - but he'll be up against Carvajal at Real Madrid...

Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane has an excellent relationship with Achraf, having persuaded him to stay in summer 2017, despite the Moroccan international being on the verge of completing a season-long loan move to Alavés. However, there is no escaping the fact that Carvajal is firmly established as Los Blancos’ first-choice right-back, a state of affairs that led Álvaro Odriozola, a player signed for 30 million euros in 2018, to be loaned to Bayern Munich in January.

In an interview with AS in October, Achraf himself made his position clear: “I’m not going to lie, I'd love to be a success there [at Real Madrid], of course. I grew up at Madrid, it's the club I call home and I'd like to keep on growing as a player there, but if it isn't to be I'll look to be a success somewhere else.” When his loan at Dortmund comes to an end, Madrid will sit down with Achraf, in the knowledge that the player’s number-one priority is regular football.

Dortmund would readily extend his stay at Signal Iduna Park - either temporarily or permanently - but have become increasingly pessimistic about their chances of making that happen. They know that the defender is attracting interest from several major clubs in England and Italy, with whom they would not be able to compete.

Real Madrid contract expires summer after next

One added factor will also be at play when Real Madrid and Achraf discuss the future: his contract expires in 2021. There appear to be three possible solutions: a) Zidane convinces the player that he’ll be an important figure, despite Carvajal’s presence in the squad; b) the 21-year-old goes out on loan again, having signed a new Bernabéu deal; or c) he is sold for a significant fee, with Madrid including a buy-back option in the transfer.