Juventus legend Zambrotta backs new boy Hakimi to shine at Inter Milan

Hakimi Lukaku - Inter Pisa
Antonio Conte's side signed the Moroccan full-back on a five-year contract from Real Madrid earlier this summer

Former Juventus and AC Milan defender Gianluca Zambrotta has backed new signing Achraf Hakimi to make a difference with his qualities at Inter Milan this season.

The 21-year full-back teamed up with the Serie A outfit from Real Madrid this summer after signing a five-year deal.

He joined Inter Milan on the back of an impressive loan stint at Borussia Dortmund, where he registered nine goals and 10 assists across all competitions last season.

Ahead of his potential Serie A debut against Fiorentina on Saturday, Zambrotta revealed the two-time Caf Youth Player of the Year offers Antonio Conte a variety of options tactically.

“Discussing strong young players, the best foreigner will be Hakimi I think. Last season he played 45 games with 9 goals and 10 assists, in an important league like the Bundesliga,” Zambrotta told Gazzetta dello Sport via Sempre Inter.

“For a full-back and a player of his age these are important numbers. He can be both a full-back and wing-back.

“If Conte will play five in the midfield, he can make a difference. For him it is a new league and this is an unknown, but with Antonio in terms of work and mentality, he can improve a lot.

“Physically he is ready and prepared, he has a great personality. He is powerful, he has pace but also technique, and finding a full-back that combines these qualities is not easy.”

Following his unveiling as an Inter Milan player this month, Hakimi said Conte’s style of play convinced him to join the San Siro Stadium outfit.

"I chose Inter because I think the coach's style is particularly suited to my way of playing and I can be of real help to this team," the Morocco international said in a Q&A hosted on Inter's social media channels.

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"We'll try to achieve great results and certainly aim to win the Scudetto.

"Conte is a great coach, with a very competitive spirit. He has this extraordinary passion for football and transmits that to his players, fans, and everyone around the club. His motivation allows the side to be fired up for every game.

"I already played 3-5-2 at Borussia Dortmund. When the offer came, I thought this was a great opportunity for me to grow, as the fans here experience football in such a special way. I have joined a great club."