Journalist Pete O'Rourke believes that Inter Milan defender Achraf Hakimi will be joining Chelsea this summer.
What did O'Rourke say about Hakimi?
O'Rourke recently appeared on The Football Terrace to discuss Hakimi's future, and during the episode, he revealed that Chelsea are very keen on the 22-year-old and that he expects the full-back to move to Stamford Bridge ahead of the 2021/22 season.
He said: "Hakimi, we all know, he’s definitely a top target for Chelsea and Thomas Tuchel. We all know about the financial problems that Inter Milan find themselves in right now, and it looks like Hakimi will be sacrificed by the Italian champions to try and raise some funds.
"They are holding out for around €70m (£59.9m) for the Morocco international. Chelsea so far I think have bid around €60m (£51.3m) plus that offer of Marcos Alonso. If I was a betting man, I think this deal will get done, I think he will be a Chelsea player come the start of next season. I just think Inter’s financial problems mean they can’t hold out too much longer for any bids that come in for this defender."
You can hear what O'Rourke said about Hakimi in full here...
What were Hakimi's stats in 2020/21?
Hakimi missed just one Serie A match through suspension for Inter this term, as he enjoyed a fine season under the guidance of Antonio Conte.
In his 37 top-flight appearances, he scored seven goals and provided 10 assists as Inter dominated the league, winning the championship by 12 points.
The wing-back showed his attacking talent throughout the campaign, making 36 key passes and completing 33 successful dribbles - numbers which saw him rank inside the top five at Inter in both categories (via WhoScored).
Would Hakimi fit into Tuchel's preferred formation?
Since arriving at Chelsea in January, Tuchel has mainly used a 3-4-2-1 system, relying on his wing-backs to get up to support attacks whenever possible.
This would suit Hakimi perfectly, as he has also been playing in a side that operates with a back three over the past year at Inter, so he should be able to adjust to Tuchel's tactics swiftly if he does join the Blues this summer.
What would Hakimi's arrival mean for Reece James?
If Hakimi did move to Chelsea, he could end up battling with a player even younger than him for the right wing-back berth in the side - Reece James.
The 21-year-old England international looks to be an exceptional talent himself, and he was mightily impressive in the Champions League final against Manchester City last month. WhoScored gave James a match rating of 7.71 - only Kai Havertz (8.01) received a higher mark for the game - as Chelsea won their second European Cup in nine years.
However, Hakimi's arrival could put James' spot in the side in doubt. One option that Tuchel could have at his disposal is to play James on the right side of Chelsea's back three. The youngster played there for the final two Premier League games this year and in the FA Cup final against Leicester.
By moving James back into this position, this would give Tuchel the opportunity to play both young players in the same team, allowing the pair to continue to develop their games, rather than one being left on the sidelines as they watch the other flourish on the pitch.News Now - Sport News