Julen Lopetegui was denied “the time to show his potential” at Real Madrid, claims Blancos loanee Achraf Hakimi.
Despite only being handed the reins at the Santiago Bernabeu over the summer, a man charged with the task of following in Zinedine Zidane’s footsteps was given just four months at the helm of a Spanish heavyweight.
With Real having struggled for form in La Liga and the Champions League, the decision was taken to part with Lopetegui in the wake of a humbling 5-1 defeat to Clasico rivals Barcelona .
There was considered to be no way back from that demoralising result at Camp Nou, with Santiago Solari passed the baton in a caretaker repair job.
Lopetegui has accepted a tough call by the Blancos board, thanking them for a great opportunity , but Hakimi believes the former Spain boss should have been given more time.
The Morocco international was loaned out to Borussia Dortmund on a two-year deal shortly after a shock appointment in Madrid, but he still feels a coach he never got to play under was harshly treated.
Hakimi told Radio Marca : “I was surprised by how little time he was given. He didn’t have the time to show his potential as coach.
“A team like Real Madrid will change the dynamics now and they will get out of the doldrums they find themselves in.”
While surprised to have seen Lopetegui moved on, that is not the only coaching call to have left Hakimi stunned this year.
The 20-year-old defender, who made 17 senior appearances for Real last season, was also surprised to see Zidane walk away from the club on the back of a third successive Champions League crown.
He added on that decision: “We didn’t know anything about it. We thought he was going to continue at Real Madrid.
“Only he really knows his reasons for leaving and he decided it, but I’m happy for him and he deserves all the good things that happen to him.”
Having departed Real before their current struggles took hold, Hakimi is enjoying a productive campaign away from the Spanish capital , with eight appearances taken in for Bundesliga table-toppers Dortmund.