Ajax ace Hakim Ziyech was the subject of plenty of transfer speculation after he played a starring role in the Amsterdam giants’ run to the 2018-19 Champions League semi-finals. Chelsea wasted no time in sealing a £33.3m five-year deal which brings him to Stamford Bridge in the summer.
Frank Lampard has put his faith in Chelsea’s academy graduates since taking over as manager at the beginning of the season but the Blues boss moved quickly to bolster his attacking options with the addition of the dynamic Moroccan winger.
Poyet believes the Moroccan will shine
Gus Poyet made 105 Premier League appearances for Chelsea from 1997-2001 and the former Blues midfielder has been impressed with what he’s seen from the 27-year-old.
Poyet said: “I thought last year he was outstanding, every time he got the ball you thought something would happen with creating chances and scoring goals. He is more individual than I was.
“He is more direct but he always tries to effect the offensive play of the team which is exciting for people. When people go to watch football, they pay to watch teams win but also see something special.
“I think he is that kind of player to bring something to excite people in the stands to get people buying tickets.”
What could Ziyech bring to the Blues?
Lampard’s young attacking midfielders have impressed this season but Ziyech arrives in London as a player approaching his prime with big-game experience under his belt and the hope is that he will fit in immediately at Stamford Bridge.
Deployed mainly on the right wing, Ziyech is equally capable of creating chances and scoring goals. Much in the same mould of Eden Hazard, who left Chelsea for Real Madrid at the beginning of the campaign.
Since joining Ajax from FC Twente in 2016, he has scored 38 Eredivisie goals and led the league in assists in each of his first three seasons at the club – he trailed teammate Dusan Tadic by two assists this season before the Dutch league was postponed.
Chelsea have creative players in their ranks but Ziyech, an elite crosser of the ball who offers width and trickery, could bring a much-needed spark to the Blues’ attack.
Pulisic set for left-side switch
Chelsea splashed the cash to bring Christian Pulisic to Stamford Bridge last summer.
The American has been hit-and-miss and his current position looks under threat with Ziyech primed to start on the right next season.
Lampard must weigh up his options. Pulisic is still only 21 despite playing for three full seasons at Dortmund but he may have to make do with a left-side switch in order to accommodate Chelsea’ new recruit.