Moroccan and international media reported last month that the Moroccan player could not convince Zidane to keep him among the list of players to stay with Real Madrid for another season.
Mundo Deportivo wrote in April that Hakimi “did not feel comfortable in his position on the side and showed some inaccuracies, especially in defense.”
In response, Zinedine Zidane said in a press conference on Saturday that Hakimi will play next year in 20 to 25 games.
“Achraf Hakimi, Borja Mayoral and Marcos Llorente have to play ’20 or 25 games’ next year to continue their development,” said the Frenchman.
He added that “one year here, playing less and training with those who do play, isn’t a lost year. They have improved a lot, they have had minutes, and each player expects to play more,” he added.
Zidane typically gives Hakimi minutes as a substitute with Real Madrid. The 19-year old player is one of Morocco’s most important players and has managed to make the list of Moroccan players who will play in Russia in June for the 2018 World Cup.
Hakimi and his Atlas Lions fellows will play their first game against Iran on June 15, and the second game will be against Portugal on 20. Morocco will play the last game in the first round of the World Cup against Spain on June 25.
CIES Football Observatory ranked the international footballer among Europe’s “50 most promising under-20 footballers,” in February.
The footballer made his official debut at the Santiago Bernabeu on October 1, when Real Madrid’s key defender Dani Carvajal couldn’t play due to injury.
Hakimi scored his first goal for his Spanish team on December 10 against Sevilla, becoming the first Moroccan ever to score for Real Madrid.