Hakimi was happy at Dortmund but we couldn’t afford him – Kehl

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Borussia Dortmund Head of First Team Football and former player Sebastian Kehl has stated that the German club could not afford to buy Achraf Hakimi even though the Morocco full-back was happy at the Signal Iduna Park.

The fledging 21-year-old full-back spent two seasons with BVB on loan, making 73 appearances, scoring 12 goals and providing 17 assists. He also won the German Super Cup during his time in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Hakimi was an established player at Dortmund, but they were unable to match his parent club Real Madrid’s demands of a permanent transfer fee of €40 million.

By contrast, Serie A runners-up and Europa League finalists Inter Milan were able to meet the asking price and secure his services.

“We should not have too many players on loan. Hakimi was beneficial to both parties. He was not on that level when he came. He learned a lot from [Lucien] Favre,” Kehl said during Dortmund’s virtual tour of Asia.

“Madrid got around €45 million for him. In the end, we could not pay that money and he joined Inter. Achraf was very happy here, but to answer the question I do not necessarily think that having one or two players on loan goes against the philosophy of BVB.”

Dortmund have been known to sell some of their big stars for big money in the past, such as Gabon international Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s £56 million move to Arsenal in 2018 and American forward Christian Pulisic’s £58 million transfer to Chelsea in 2019.

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Kehl, however, dismisses the label of being a selling club, citing the longevity of players like Poland defender Lukasz Piszczek, who has been with the club since 2010 and was part of the side that won back-to-back Bundesliga titles in 2011 and 2012.

“It is not accurate to say that we are a selling club. Auba and Pulisic moved on but on the other hand, Hummels came back, is here for Piszczek 10 years,” Kehl continued.

“There are a lot of guys who identify with the club, but there a few youngsters for whom a few bigger clubs can pay more money. We develop players and we are well known for it and I think we have had a good mix.”

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