The coronavirus pandemic has not stopped the usual speculation associated with the approach of every transfer window. Although Leroy Sane to Bayern Munich has been the biggest news relating to Manchester City, Joao Cancelo’s potential departure has also grabbed a fair share of the headlines. After several weeks of pushing the idea that City was considering a swap deal with Barcelona for Nelson Semedo, Marca recently reported that the City hierarchy have no interest in the deal.
However, reports linger that Cancelo has his heart set on leaving the Etihad Stadium in search of regular football. Some reports have it that manager Pep Guardiola has not been impressed with the Portuguese and is ready to move him on. Several players have linked as potential replacements to give Kyle Walker a run for his money or take over completely from the Englishman. One prominent name has been Real Madrid’s Achraf Hakimi who has been on a two-year loan spell at Borussia Dortmund.
Walker’s behaviour during the lockdown as well as his age (clocks 30 on May 28) have led to many saying his days at City are numbered, at least as a regular starter. A capable long-term replacement is vital at this point.
Could Hakimi be the man?
The Moroccan ranks as one of the best right-backs in the world at the moment. His impact and numbers have been compared to Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold with the African excelling him. With 4 goals and 10 assists in 27 Bundesliga appearances, he ranks up there among the best in the game. Add another 4 goals in 8 Champions League outings for the season and it’s clear Hakimi is a consistent performer. For the records, Arnold has 2 goals, 12 assists in 29 Premier League games but a solitary assist and zero goals in 7 Champions League matches this season.
Hakimi has been one of Dortmund’s shining lights although Erling Haaland and Jadon Sancho consistently make the news as the front men. His two-year loan spell will end this season. That will leave both the player and parent club Real Madrid with a big decision to make. Currently, Dani Carvajal is the man favoured for the position at the Santiago Bernabeu by Zinedine Zidane. Hakimi has made it clear he is not ready to return to the bench at Madrid. That opens the door to strike a deal for the player.
Skillful, fast, strong in passing and holding on to the ball while also good both defensively and in attack, the right-back will fit into Guardiola’s system perfectly. He could become City’s own Alexander-Arnold. That makes him a good player for City to target. Still so young, the Morocco international is loaded with experience playing at the top level. He featured prominently at the last world cup for his country.
21-year-old has won the Champions League, the Spanish, German and UEFA Super Cups as well as the Club World Cup. With a winning mentality already in place, he will fit into the City team and improve it right away.
So yes, Man City should be interested in Hakimi and will do well to sign him. He represents good value for money right now and ticks all the boxes for an ideal Guardiola and City signing. Valued at £48.60 million by Transfermkt at the moment, he is a cost effective option. Liverpool’s Arnold is valued at £89.10 million, almost double Hakimi’s price. At just 21, he could help the Blues win even more trophies and dominate not just the Premier League but European football in the next decade and beyond.
Isn’t that what we all want?