The Moroccan Achraf Hakimi is a defender, but he is also PSG’s second best striker since the start of Ligue 1. He has three goals and two assists.
The victory (2-1) of PSG against Metz, Wednesday, September 22, for the sixth day of Ligue 1, bears his signature. Achraf Hakimi opened the scoring (5th) before giving the advantage to his team, joined meanwhile (39th), in stoppage time (90th + 5). By registering his second and third achievements, the Moroccan defender, author in addition to two assists, becomes the most decisive Parisian in the league after Kylian Mbappé (4 goals, 3 assists). One of the two most effective in attack position. Mauro Icardi has scored as much as him, but has no assist.
This penchant for offense is a special sign of the player trained at Real Madrid. Last season, with Inter Milan, he scored 7 goals in Serie A. The previous season, with Borussia Dortmund, he found the net 9 times. He symbolizes the modern full-back, able to take the lane to participate in the offensive animation of his team. Often offering goal balls and sometimes ensuring the conclusion himself.
But, Hakimi’s attacking qualities hardly hide his defensive shortcomings. Too worn in the opposing zone, the Moroccan international (36 caps, 4 goals) almost forgets that a defender must first defend well. This was noticed against Metz: the 23-year-old side lost all his duels as well as 14 balls, and was sometimes caught in the depth.
Against FC Bruges (1-1), in the Champions League, Hakimi seemed overwhelmed by events. It was also his worst performance since his arrival in Paris. Moreover, during the next match of PSG, against Lyon (2-1, 6th day), he was left on the bench at kick-off. Not coming into play until the 76th minute.
However, the Moroccan, bought from Inter Milan at 60 million euros, remains to this day the most effective of the new Parisian recruits. Donnarumma (two matches, 1 goal taken), Wijnaldum (ghostly), Sergio Ramos (injured, 0 match), Nuno Mendes (three appearances full of promise) and Lionel Messi (0 goal in three matches) will have to come out of the shadows to be entitled to the same praise that their coach, Mauricio Pochettino , addressed to Achraf Hakimi.
“I’m very happy for him, he’s a very good boy , reacted the Argentine technician after the victory against Metz . He doesn’t just give us goals. He also works on the sides, offensively but also defensively. And I’m very happy for him. ”
“Good boy, good intentions, good heart”
Pochettino is all the more satisfied with his player as he feels at home, in addition to his qualities as a footballer, a dose of humanism that is very appreciable for a coach caught up in the volatile daily life of a big club with its superstars and performance requirements.
An anecdote from the PSG coach: “Yesterday (Tuesday, September 21, Editor’s note ) , at the end of training, I speak with him and ask him how he is. He said to me: “I’m fine, and you coach, how are you? You ask everyone but no one asks you how you are. Today, I’m happy for him for his good intentions and his good heart that he shows every time and every day on a daily basis. “