It seemed to take an eternity, but once Achraf Hakimi was given his chance by new Dortmund coach Lucien Farve, he left his mark. A goal in his debut which saw Dortmund go on to win by a resounding 7-0 victory over Nuremberg was where it all began. Quickly following Nuremberg, more production; a game winning assist in the dramatic victory over Bayern Leverkusen placed Achraf as the clear favorite for the rookie award. Against Leverkusen, he handled his own as he battled against Wendell and Brandt all match, despite the duel, Achraf was never shy in pushing forward to show his attacking impetus.
The good performances have continued in October against Augsburg, Achraf racked up another assist. The MM crew have been covering Achraf’s progress all season long, and he has been amongst Real Madrid’s most impressive loanee’s. Om Arvind, brokedown each of his early season matches detailing his progression. Of the many criticisms Achraf faced last season, his crossing may have topped the list. This season, his crossing has been top quality— the delivery has been perfectly measured with weight and whip to find his target.
His improvement has not gone unnoticed, and with his award, he now enters the nomination for rookie of the season. Even Lucien Farve couldn’t help but praise the Moroccan, “Hakimi’s playing so well. He’s great going forward and he does a good job at the back. He played at left-back for Morocco, but prefers to play at right-back. He has so much potential.”
Achraf, who has always pointed to Carvajal as reference, listed his former Spanish teammate as a reason behind his move to Germany, “Yes, it (Carvajal’s loan to Bayer04) is something that I thought about when coming here. I thought that it had helped Carvajal a lot that he came to play in Germany at such a young age. For me he’s the best in his position.”
But why Borussia Dortmund? Their track record with young players and their attacking style convinced Achraf after he revealed he had many suitors: “I had a lot of offers, but BVB’s one had me convinced. The team likes to play very attractive football and they try to make young players better. I had Carvajal in front of me at Real, but he told be to make the most of the opportunity: go there, play & enjoy.”
It’s still early days, but Achraf’s two year loan deal may prove to be a shrewd bit of business for all three parties: Dortmund, Madrid, and Hakimi himself.