Bellerin out, Hakimi in – Arsenal fans react to latest speculation

Written by Aayush Ray Sarkar

April 4, 2020

Real Madrid’s Achraf Hakimi will be a wanted man in the summer, when his two-year loan deal at Borussia Dortmund expires. According to the The Athletic, the 21-year-old Moroccan right-back has attracted interest from Arsenal, Chelsea, PSG, Spurs, and Bayern Munich.

Arsenal are said to be particularly impressed by Hakimi’s versatility. Although he is primarily a right-back, he has been deployed on the left side of the defence several times for Dortmund. He has even featured as a left-winger – most notably in Dortmund’s 2-0 win against Slavia Prague in the Champions League this season, in which he scored both goals.

Hakimi seems to have it all – pace, physical presence, and technical ability going forward, with 10 assists from open play this season (compared to Trent Alexander-Arnold’s 6, depsite playing 5 fewer league games). His arrival at Arsenal would likely be bad news for the 25-year-old Hector Bellerin. The Spaniard had a delayed start to the 19/20 season after an ACL tear in early 2019, and has been “playing with discomfort” according to Mikel Arteta. While he may still have a bright future at the Emirates, and is even one of the favourites for future captain, Arsenal fans seem pretty confident that he would stand no chance if the club did end up buying Hakimi. The prospect of Hakimi and Pepe combining on the right is too tempting, even for Bellerin’s biggest supporters.

Hakimi’s current contract at Real Madrid expires in 2022, and his agent has denied previous reports that the contract had been extended by an additional year. He told Spox: “This lacks any basis. The contract with Real Madrid is still the one that we negotiated in 2017 and will run until 2022.”

While Madrid could very well end up holding on to their star man, a move to one of Europe’s top sides is certainly not out of the question, especially if he feels that the competition at Madrid would stunt his development. Although there has been newspaper talk of a £50 million release clause, it would not be surprising if he ended up moving for a much larger sum.

 

 

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