Achraf Hakimi: Africa's Youth Player of the Year and possibly the best full-back in the Bundesliga. - © DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga
Achraf Hakimi: Africa's Youth Player of the Year and possibly the best full-back in the Bundesliga. - © DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga
bundesliga

Borussia Dortmund's Achraf Hakimi named 2018 African Youth Player of the Year

Borussia Dortmund's Moroccan defender Achraf Hakimi is the 2018 Confederation of African Football Youth Player of the Year.

The 20-year-old Real Madrid loanee beat Mahmoud Benhalib (Morocco & Raja Club Athletic), Franck Kessie (Cote d’Ivoire & AC Milan) Wilfred Ndidi (Nigeria & Leicester City), Andre Onana (Cameroon & Ajax) and Ismaila Sarr (Senegal & Rennes) to the title.

He received the award at a ceremony in Senegal on Tuesday, crowning a year that has already seen the Morocco international claim the Bundesliga's Rookie of the Month award twice.

Achraf Hakimi has helped Dortmund build the joint-meanest defence in the Bundesliga this season. - Simon Hofmann/Bundesliga/DFL via Getty Images

Hakimi repaying Dortmund faith

Madrid-born Hakimi made nine league appearances for Real under Zinedine Zidane last season, and turned out five times in the Copa Del Rey as well as twice in Los Blancos' triumphant UEFA Champions League campaign.

He played every minute of Morocco's three FIFA 2018 World Cup group games in Russia, before moving to Dortmund on a two-year loan deal in July.

Since scoring on his Bundesliga debut in a 7-0 rout of Nuremberg in late September, Hakimi has made a further 11 league appearances for BVB, operating at right- and left-back. He is yet to lose in the German top flight and has registered three assists.

The Real academy product also helped the Bundesliga leaders top their Champions League group, catching the eye with a hat-trick of assists in the 4-0 win over Atletico Madrid in October.

Battle of the Bundesliga's best: Achraf Hakimi's Dortmund lead Joshua Kimmich's Bayern Munich (l.) by six points at the Bundesliga summit. - 2018 Getty Images

'Right decision to join Dortmund'

"Dortmund have shown a lot of faith in me as a young player, and took the bold step to put me in the first team," Hakimi told Reviersport. "It was definitely the right decision to come here. I'm really enjoying myself."

Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has already said the club are looking into ways to make Hakimi's loan move permanent.

"We will try to do what we did with Paco [Alcacer, whose loan deal from Barcelona was made permanent in November]".

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