Achraf Hakimi to Chelsea: The Moroccan’s first season with the Blues predicted

Achraf Hakimi to Chelsea: The Moroccan’s first season with the Blues predicted


Chelsea are being linked with Inter defender Achraf Hakimi this summer, following reports that Paris Saint-Germain have already lodged a bid for the former Real Madrid man.

A report emerged yesterday from Sky Sports which suggested that Chelsea had made a £56.1million bid for the Morocco international, matching the offer tabled by French heavyweights Paris Saint-Germain.

However, football.london understands the Blues have yet to make a bid as Thomas Tuchel looks to bolster his Champions League winning squad.

The 22-year-old had a brilliant individual campaign for Inter, scoring seven goals and providing eight assists in 37 league appearances, leading the Italian club to a historic Serie A title win.

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So what if Hakimi did sign for Chelsea next season? And, what could his arrival mean for Reece James?

To find out, we simulated the entirety of next season with Hakimi in Tuchel’s squad, to predict his potential impact.

This is what happened.

We ‘signed’ Achraf Hakimi for Chelsea in Summer 2021

To set up this simulation, we used the Football Manager 2021 editor to arrange for Inter defender Achraf Hakimi to join Chelsea in the summer 2021 transfer window, using FM21 to run our simulation.

The Football Manager database currently contains data on more than 800,000 individuals and 45,000 active clubs, with data sourced from their international on the ground scouting network which numbers roughly 1,000 people, among their ranks are some who are involved in football in professional capacities, including scouts and coaches.

This is how Hakimi’s profile looks on Football Manager 2021, as of July 2021 in-game.



Achraf Hakimi's FM21 profile
Achraf Hakimi’s FM21 profile

Before we go into the simulation, in addition to the £56.1million signing of Hakimi, Chelsea also signed Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar.

We then simulated the entire 2021/22 season on the game, to see what kind of impact Hakimi could have at Stamford Bridge next season.

Here’s what happened!

Achraf Hakimi’s 2021/22 season for Chelsea

Hakimi’s arrival led to an interesting dilemma for Thomas Tuchel, because although the Morrocan’s preferred position is at either right-back or right wing-back, Reece James is also a strong option in those positions.

Unfortunately for Ben Chilwell, Hakimi can also play on the left side of defence too, and that’s exactly where Tuchel decided to employ the 22-year-old in this Chelsea side.

This is how Hakimi’s season played out.



Hakimi's stats for Chelsea in 2021/22
Hakimi’s stats for Chelsea in 2021/22

The Morocco international made 41 appearances for Chelsea, 34 of which were at left wing-back and seven were at right wing-back.

The defender scored once and registered four assists. He also make three international appearances, all at right-back.

So, how about James?



Reece James' season for Chelsea in 2021/22
Reece James’ season for Chelsea in 2021/22

The England international made 52 appearances in all competitions for Chelsea, 47 of which were at right wing-back and five were in central midfield.

In those appearances, James registered nine assists and scored 5 goals, beating Hakimi’s tally, but James did have the advantage of playing in his preferred position.

Football Manager 2021 calculates every team’s best performing 11 at the end of every season, using a variety of key metrics.



Chelsea's best XI in 2021/22
Chelsea’s best XI in 2021/22

Chelsea’s best team at the end of the 2021/22 season was as follows: Mendy; James, Christensen, Azpilicueta, Sarr, Hakimi; Kante, Aouar; Ziyech, Mount; Havertz.

So, how did Chelsea fare with Hakimi in the squad?

Chelsea had a strong campaign, also winning a major trophy.



Chelsea won the FA Cup
Chelsea won the FA Cup

Chelsea won the FA Cup, beating Aston Villa in the final. The Blues reached the Carabao Cup quarter-final and the first knockout round of the Champions League.

But, what about the Premier League?

Here’s how the final 2021/22 PL table looked in our simulation.

Chelsea challenged for the Premier League title, putting pressure on Manchester City for almost the entire campaign.



Here's how the final 2021/22 PL table looked in our simulation
Here’s how the final 2021/22 PL table looked in our simulation

However, the Blues eventually finished second, nine points behind Pep Guardiola’s side, but above Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal and others.

Overall, Football Manager predicts that even without Chelsea signing a new striker, the signing of Hakimi could see them challenge for the Premier League title, but Tuchel would have a dilemma on his hands about what to do with the Morrocan defender.

In this case, he played him at left wing-back, but he’s also got the option of putting James at centre-back.

It certainly would be interesting to see what would happen!

Would you be happy to see Achraf Hakimi at Chelsea next season? Let us know in the comments.



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Football Manager (FM) is the world’s leading football management simulation title. The latest edition of the game, FM21, is out now on PC, Mac, Mobile, Touch and Xbox.

The Football Manager database currently contains data on more than 800,000 individuals and 45,000 active clubs, with data sourced from their international on the ground scouting network which numbers roughly 1,000 people, among their ranks are some who are involved in football in professional capacities, including scouts and coaches.





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