Statistical & Tactical Analysis Of How New Signing Achraf Hakimi Will Fit Into Antonio Conte’s Inter

Statistical & Tactical Analysis Of How New Signing Achraf Hakimi Will Fit Into Antonio Conte’s Inter
September 2, 2020 10:30
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This series takes a look at the latest signings and statistically analyzes those individuals’ contributions and how they compare to the current squad.

Achraf Hakimi completed his move to Inter, having been official as of July 2nd. It is obvious Inter acquired him for his attacking contributions, having had 19 goal involvements in 45 games, and his versatile abilities: an ambidextrous, free-flowing right-back that was commonly found throughout the pitch during Borussia Dortmund’s attacks last year.

Given that his likely placement will be in both sides of Conte’s 3-5-2 wing-back positions, we will directly compare him to Danilo D’Ambrosio, Antonio Candreva, and Ashley Young. Statistics are acquired from WyScout and FBref.com; these stats will be given in the order of Hakimi, D’Ambrosio, Candreva, and Young respectively.

Passing is essential for wing-backs, and they’re all exceptional at short and medium passes (88.1%, 92.%, 87.9%, 89.5%); only Candreva lags behind at forward passes in general (76%, 77.5%, 68.7%, 74%).

But, statistically, if the best crosser in Europe’s top 5 league’s last season was Dijon’s Fouad Chafik (55.3%), then Hakimi needs to grow while Candreva and Young should be considered very decent (30.9%, 36.1%, 40.9%, 40.7%).

Hakimi is particularly bad at smart passes, such as through balls (23.3%, 66.7%, 50%, 35.7%); but he and Candreva excel at final third passing (81%, 67.7%, 83.3%, 65.8%).

Progressive pass accuracy, passes over 10 meters up-field, is good for all of them, but appears to get better with age (74.5%, 78%, 80.5%, 82.3%).

In the attack, Candreva is the worst at dribbling past opponents, while Hakimi is on par with D’Ambrosio and Young (56.8%, 56.7%, 48.6%, 58.1%), and they’re are pretty equal in offensive duels (49.75%, 51.58%, 50.87%, 51.74%).

However, Hakimi and Candreva perform nearly two-to-three times as many successful attacking actions per game: dribbles, crosses, and shots (4.77, 1.93, 5.9, 2.93).

If we look at shot-creating actions, Hakimi approaches Young, but both fall short of Candreva (2.71, 1.05, 3.25, 2.88); and key-passes tell the same story (1.06, 0.43, 1.89, 1.34).

Compiling these stats tells us that we have a quick and agile winger that rivals Candreva’s creation ability while having the most goal involvements of all of them (19, 5, 15, 11).

Wing-backs need to contribute defensively, and Hakimi does so nearly on par to D’Ambrosio in all regards:

  • successful defensive actions per game (7.46, 7.68, 5.86, 7.01);
  • tackles and interceptions per game (2.92, 3.3, 1.53, 2);
  • tackle success rate (64.6%, 62.7%, 72%, 57.6%);
  • and even in percentages of getting dribbled past (64.1%, 66.1%, 62.7%, 73.4%).

The most surprising stat is that Hakimi actually wins more of his defensive duels than the rest (62.5%, 52.88%, 48.4%, 51.4%). Also, keep in mind that D’Ambrosio occasionally fills in as a central defender, so his defensive stats should be expected to be better than the rest.

Before looking into this, what pundits said was taken at face value: that Hakimi was a great attacking addition to Inter’s squad, but needed to develop defensively if he was going to keep a starting lineup spot.

This analysis says they’re all wrong: Hakimi is not only a top-level attacking force, but he is already better than Young and Candreva in nearly every defensive aspect and even rivals D’Ambrosio.

Achraf Hakimi is a superb acquisition.

Andrew Allan
By Andrew Allan

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