The Castilla graduate’s two-year loan spell with BVB Dortmund is coming to an end and a likely return to the Santiago Bernabeu is on the cards.
Zinedine Zidane was the ultimate footballer of his generation. With three successive UEFA Champions League triumphs as a coach, he has etched his name in the history books. Real Madrid are the ultimate destination for a footballer, and there is no denying this fact.
Eden Hazard left Stamford Bridge to play on the Bernabeu. Totti had his head turned by the white shirt. Cristiano Ronaldo left Sir Alex Ferguson to play in front of the Real Madrid faithful. So did a certain globe trotter, David Beckham.
Playing for Real Madrid, the most decorated football team in world football, is truly an honor. Players would jump to sign on the dotted line and become a part of the dressing room. But as history has told us, its not for everyone.
For every star of the club, there are half a dozen who failed to make the grade. The question about potential has never been there, barring Thomas Gravesen. But it is how you handle the pressure of playing in the white shirt and the added media scrutiny that comes with it.
Achraf Hakimi is at that juncture of his life where he has to make this decision. Despite 21, the Castilla graduate can return to the Santiago Bernabeu and fulfill the wishes of any young amateur.
And why not. He was groomed in the academy and has been touted as a future star. But Hakimi shouldn’t. for his sake and everything that he has to offer.
As it stands, the youngster is unsure of his future. And this is a good thing. It shows he is realizing the alternatives he has.
Where does he fit
At his tender age, and with only a handful seasons under his belt, the Morocco international has much to learn. Under Lucien Favre he has been employed on the both flanks, impressing whenever he has been given a chance.
However, Hakimi has not cemented a first team slot. He has been deployed on the right wing and left. In both advanced and receding roles. Favre has yet to find his perfect place on the pitch, and it will be some time until Zidane finds one for him.
Learn his trade first
Hakimi’s poor performances have gone under the radar in Bundesliga. Against Barcelona Achraf was found wanting, but he was forgiven given his youth. This is not what awaits him at the Bernabeu. Everyone, from the fans to the backroom to the hierarchy, no one is forgiving.
Many have come to the Bernabeu and failed to live up to expectations. Hakimi will turn into one if he returns to the Spanish capital in haste. The lights capture everyone but few rise up above them.
Understudy to Daniel Carvajal
There is no first team slot available for Hakimi. Not this season, not next. Real Madrid have Carvajal and they are not looking to replace him. Especially when he is a starter for La Furia Roja.
Achraf Hakimi should learn from Alvaro Odriozola’s mistakes. The Real Sociedad academy graduate made the move to Bernabeu too soon and is struggling to get first team minutes.