Man City should look at Borussia Dortmund man as Nelson Semedo and Joao Cancelo transfer alternative
Manchester City have been linked with signing Barcelona's Nelson Semedo as a possible replacement for Joao Cancelo.by Joe Bray, https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/authors/joe-bray/
The return of the Bundesliga has seen plenty of attention focussed towards Germany, with fans of all Premier League clubs on scouting missions to see which players would improve their sides.
Manchester United fans want Jadon Sancho, Liverpool fans want Timo Werner, and it seems everyone is starting to add Kai Havertz to their ideal summer transfer wishlists.
Havertz could be a potential target for Manchester City, especially if Leroy Sane joins Bayern Munich, but they will have competition from plenty of their Premier League and Champions League rivals. His impressive display for Bayer Leverkusen this weekend will only have increased the number of scouts looking at him.
But looking at the first two weeks of Bundesliga action, and City shouldn't limit their scouting to Havertz, who may or may not be a realistic target.
Instead, one of the Bundesliga's best performers since it returned has been quietly performing at right-back - an area City are reportedly looking at refreshing.
It has been suggested that City will look to replace Joao Cancelo after a mixed season since joining from Juventus last summer, with Barcelona's Nelson Semedo the name most strongly linked. The latest reports, though, say City might not be as interested in Semedo as it has been made out.
So maybe City scouts could turn their attention to Borussia Dortmund's Achraf Hakimi, who scored in their 2-0 win over Wolfsburg on Saturday.
Hakimi, on loan from Real Madrid, has four goals and 10 assists for Dortmund this season. That is double the contribution of Kyle Walker (one goal, two assists), Semedo (no goals, three assists) and Cancelo (one goal, one assist) put together.
Defensively, Hakimi has averaged more tackles per game, dribbles per game than Walker, but has fewer interceptions and clearances per game. When it comes to passing, Walker is superior in pass success rate, but Hakimi averages more key passes per game.
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Interestingly, though, Cancelo is superior to Walker in tackles, dribbles, pass success and interceptions - albeit during far fewer games in the Premier League.
Compared to Semedo, Hakimi's numbers are slightly worse defensively, but there is no arguing with his attacking output. Crucially, Hakimi can play on both sides of defence, or even further forward if needed. After playing for Dortmund, he would surely be familiar with City's high press and possession football if City came calling.
But while Hakimi could represent a viable alternative to Semedo, City will have to persuade Real Madrid - not Dortmund - to part with the Moroccan international, who came through the ranks at the Bernabeu and has 17 appearances with them to date.
Hakimi will return to Madrid after a two year spell in Germany, his agent recently confirmed, but he will do so with a stronger requirement for first team football. However, with three other right-backs in Zinedine Zidane's squad, Hakimi might find regular playing time hard to come by.
"Real Madrid are the club I call home," Hakimi told Telefoot recently, in quotes cited by Diario AS.
"I've really enjoyed my time there and played lots of games there. If Real Madrid want me to go back, I'll go back. And if not, I will need to write the next chapter at another great club."
It could be possible that Hakimi needs to move away from the Bernabeu, and if he does he will be a man in demand. His performances over the last two weeks will only serve to show any prospective buyers what he can offer. City should be taking note.