In the news today is the story that the Blues have reportedly agreed a €45m deal with Ajax over the transfer of Hakim Ziyech. With fans disappointed over the lack of signings in the January window, news of moves already being made for the summer is music to everyone’s ears. The news was reported by the very reliable Telegraaf in Holland and it seems to be a very good price for the quality of the player in question. Whilst the news is still very fresh, let’s investigate what he could bring to this Chelsea team.
Performances Against Chelsea
Having already seen Ziyech against Chelsea twice so far in the Champions League group stages, Chelsea fans are well placed to give their opinion on the Moroccan winger. In the first game at the Johan Cryuff arena, he wasn’t at his best and neither were Ajax as Chelsea frustrated the home team before winning late on. He did almost get an assist on the night as a goal was ruled from his cross for being very marginally offside, but he wasn’t at his best.
At Stamford Bridge, it was a different story. In a totally crazy game, the spoils were of course shared at 4-4. However, the 26-year-old claimed three assists on the night. With the cross into Quincy Promes being a fantastic ball in that completely bypassed our defence showing off his vision and quality. From those two games, we saw that he is very dangerous and possesses good feet and with runners in front of him, he can find them and creating opportunities aplenty.
In the Ajax team, he has been a mainstay for several seasons now. Producing incredible stats that prove he is a dangerous play maker. According to Whoscored, his Eredivisie career at Ajax has produced 79 goals and 87 assists in 213 appearances – as well as double figures for assists in six consecutive seasons.
As far as this season goes, he has carried last year’s form into this season with 29 goal contributions in 29 games. Including, two goals and five assists in six games in the Champions League. Not forgetting his performance at Stamford Bridge and the wonder goal against Valencia away.
One thing that is important to mention is the fact that he is left footed. It may not seem a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but his ability to play off the right wing and cut in can be an extremely dangerous weapon for any time. Look to the likes of Mohammed Salah, Arjen Robben and even Lionel Messi for example. The Blues haven’t had a player like that on the wing for years, probably since Robben left Chelsea. His ability to roam and find spaces makes him an elusive attacker and he can function in an attacking central position as well as on the wing.
What It Means for the Team
With news from Sky Germany that Jadon Sancho is leaving in the summer, they could be worried about this move potentially blocking the transfer of Sancho. It seems that aging duo Willian and Pedro will on their way out of London come the summer, making space for the potential transfer of Ziyech and either Sancho or Jeremie Boga. Ziyech would fit in a central position or out wide and would help to bring quality and directness in front of goal that would help the team win games where getting over the line has been tough. Overall, it’s great to see the club making moves early which means he can join and have a full pre-season. Potentially a great signing at a good price.