Paris Saint-Germain

Achraf Hakimi explains why he choose PSG over Chelsea

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
Hakimi is one of the best right-backs in world football
Hakimi is one of the best right-backs in world football / SEBASTIEN BOZON/Getty Images

Achraf Hakimi has explained why he chose to move to Paris Saint-Germain over Chelsea in the summer.

After an extremely impressive season at Inter - where he registered seven goals and 10 assists from wing-back, helping his side win the Scudetto - he was sold as the Nerazzurri attempted to alleviate their financial problems.

Several clubs were interested but PSG were the side to seal his signature, making him their first signing of an extremely busy summer. Chelsea were also interested though, and during a recent interview with L'Equipe Hakimi explained why he opted to move to the French capital.

"When I received these two offers, I had the intuition that I had to come to Paris, that I was going to be happy there," he said.

"PSG are a great club and I appreciated how much the people here seemed to love and desire me. And I was lucky that my arrival was accompanied by great transfers. I'm already sure I wasn't wrong, I feel good, we have a dream team and I'm happy to be part of it."

He added: "[Mauricio Pochettino said] that he liked the way I played and that I was going to learn a lot from him. We hit it off during this conversation. He is a coach that I like: he likes to dominate matches thanks to the possession of the ball and to play very attacking. 

"A few years ago he already wanted me at Tottenham. He has a way of managing and playing his teams that can help me progress. I needed a coach who gave me confidence and the freedom to attack."

Hakimi also opened up about his time at Real Madrid. He came through the youth ranks at the Santiago Bernabeu but never managed to displace Dani Carvajal from the first team. Despite this, he revealed he was extremely thankful for the role Real had played in his career.

"Real Madrid is the club of my childhood, the one thanks to which I am today here, at PSG, doing an interview with you!" he beamed.

"They took me out of the neighbourhood, learned the values ​​of football, built as a man, too. I stayed there for more than twelve years, I have a lot of gratitude for this club. For the moment, I haven't had the opportunity to triumph there, you never know what the future will be like. Today, all that matters is Paris, I am obviously very motivated to accomplish great things in this jersey."