Chelsea have been linked with Achraf Hakimi this week, but why exactly are they interested in him when they already have Reece James in their ranks?
In one of the more head-scratching transfer stories of the month, Chelsea have been linked with Real Madrid loanee Achraf Hakimi by the Mirror and a few other outlets, as they claim Frank Lampard is looking to bolster his backline ahead of the 2020-21 season.
Achraf Hakimi has been nothing but quality ever since being loaned to Borussia Dortmund ahead of the 2018-19 season, and is now worth well over £50 million according to Transfermarkt – a massive difference from the £6.5 million value he had when he initially joined Dortmund less than 2 years ago. Hakimi, alongside the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Alphonso Davies, is considered one of the best young full-backs on the planet right now.
With Dani Carvajal’s performance levels decreasing regularly over the last few seasons, many have expected Real Madrid to welcome Hakimi back with open arms. However, the links to Chelsea suggest that other clubs feel they might have a shot at signing the Moroccan.
Chelsea do have the fabulous right-back talent Reece James in their ranks already though, which has left some fans confused as to why Achraf Hakimi is being scouted out as a potential signing. Right-back does seem like one of Chelsea’s more secured positions, especially long-term.
Well, even for someone like me this is a difficult one to decipher, but depth is a key portion of any success in the modern age and having 2 stellar young full-backs, both of whom are physical and talented specimen, gives you a lot of room for manoeuvre. Perhaps Chelsea is looking to revert to a back 3 and play one at right centre-back and one at right wing-back.
Another possible explanation could be that Chelsea want Hakimi to play left-back, while Reece James keeps his role at right-back. This one is a bit more difficult to believe, as Hakimi is more accustomed to playing on the right and his future certainly lies there, but we have seen in the past that he is very capable at left-back.
Lastly, both Hakimi and James have the potential to play in non-defensive positions. For example, Hakimi has been deployed as a winger on occasion for Dortmund, and his attacking intelligence and quality has been very impressive.
Reece James has also been touted as a future defensive midfielder, due to his large frame and ability on the ball. Perhaps Chelsea plans on moving one of these players to a more advanced position.