Real Madrid and Inter Milan have reached a €40 million agreement for 21-year old right-back Achraf Hakimi, according to a report from Sky Italia. Apparently, the deal is all but confirmed and it could be announced very soon, per that same report.
While Achraf has frequently expressed his desire to have a relevant role next season —which always suggested trouble for Real Madrid given the presence of Dani Carvajal, this outcome was tough to predict if it finally comes to fruition.
Here are three reasons why selling the young right-back would be a mistake.
- Real Madrid should take advantage of the high-quality products coming from their academy. It’s reasonable to sell those players who might not have the potential to ever be a starter for the club, but Achraf certainly doesn’t fit into that category. He’s been impressive for Dortmund and while he might not be ready to start every game next season, he definitely has the kind of ceiling to do it very soon. Real Madrid have the opportunity to find that kind of player for free, so why sell him?
- Carvajal’s long-term replacement will likely be more expensive. Carvajal is 28 years old and could enter his decline in two/three years time. Real Madrid have spent €30 million on Odriozola and €30 million on Danilo over the last five years and neither one of them had the quality to compete for the starting job, especially Odriozola. Achraf is an obvious, proven candidate for that task and selling him for €40 million wouldn’t make much sense. Quality fullbacks are rare and Real Madrid will need to search the market in two or three years unless Odriozola somehow becomes a starting-caliber player.
- Achraf is quite clearly a better player than Odriozola and one of them will be needed next season. Sure, Achraf doesn’t want to be Carvajal’s backup, but coach Zinedine Zidane should be capable of letting him know that there will be plenty of minutes throughout the season, even if Carvajal manages to stay healthy all year long, which is unlikely.
- Bonus track: If Achraf really wants to start and doesn’t want to stay in Madrid next season no matter what Zidane says, the club should still find a way to find him a new loan deal or secure a buy-back clause while extending his contract with Real Madrid. That way, Achraf would enjoy the starting role he wants now while Madrid would keep control of his future when Carvajal gets older.