Former Juventus defender Mehdi Benatia spoke positively of new Inter signing Achraf Hakimi in an interview in yesterday’s print edition of the Italian magazine Sportweek, published by Gazzetta dello Sport.
“Hakimi is perhaps the spearhead of the talented generation that is growing up in Morocco. He is already among the five strongest full backs in Europe.
“In a couple of years he will be competing for first place on the podium alongside Liverpool’s Alexander-Arnold. Right now, but only at this moment, the Englishman is a little bit stronger.”
Benatia revealed that the 21-year-old Moroccan spoke to him before signing for the Nerazzurri.
“Hakimi called me before signing for Inter. I told him that Italy was the best choice he could make. What’s more, it’s a perfect choice because it will make him grow tactically.”
Finally, Benatia discussed how Inter coach Antonio Conte is what made the difference to Hakimi and his decision, considering the top clubs interested in him.
“Everyone wanted him, PSG and Bayern were in the lead, but he will be able to refine and complete himself with a coach like Antonio Conte, who is prepared and successful.”
Hakimi, who will officially join the squad at the start of next month, made 45 appearances across all competitions this season for Borussia Dortmund, for a total of 3571 minutes. In that time, he scored nine goals and provided 10 assists, impressing with both his offensive and defensive qualities.
The 21-year-old will be Conte’s new right wing back and was the first of many signings this summer, with the club looking to strengthen other departments as well including the left wing back role and signing more midfield depth.