Chelsea may have already completed one of the best deals of the upcoming summer transfer window by agreeing a £37million deal for the two-time Ajax player of the season Hakim Ziyech. Touted as one of the most creative players in European football, it surprised many how the Blues were able to conclude a deal within 24 hours of the concrete rumours.
Frank Lampard has already talked up his new signing and has told the Chelsea fans to expect great things from the Moroccan international.
The critics may downplay Ziyech’s numbers for Ajax as he plays in a less competitive league compared to the Premier League, however, those who have watched Hakim Ziyech play in the last couple of season know exactly what he is capable of. Now that Ziyech will be playing in the Premier League next season, we look at the 3 reasons why he will be a success for Frank Lampard’s team.
1. Scoring and Creating goals for fun Ziyech against his next club Chelsea
: Since the beginning of last season, Hakim Ziyech has been involved in 47 goals for Ajax, including 12 league assists so far this season. No matter what league you are playing in, these numbers are simply sensational. These numbers aren’t just in bursts but a consistent part of his game.
Since his Eredivise debut in 2012, Ziyech has 79 goals and 87 assists to his name in 212 appearances. The Moroccan international made a name for himself in the 2015-16 season when he notched up 17 goals and 10 assists with a midtable team FC Twente.
The 26-year-old set the Champions League on fire last season as well managing 5 goals and 5 assists from 17 appearances in the 2018-19 season. Frank Lampard was blown away seeing Ziyech in the epic 4-4 draw against Ajax earlier this season. Out of the 4 goals scored by the Dutch side that night, 3 of them were set up by the Moroccan superstar.
With Ziyech on the pitch, Chelsea will never be out of a game even when they are trailing. Stamford Bridge will look up to him to be that goal threat and take their team over the line. A player like Ziyech helps his team win games they don’t deserve to and no defence line can keep him quiet for the entire 90 minutes. It would not be an overstatement to say that Chelsea are getting one hell of a player who deserves to play at the highest level of European football.
2. Creativity from all areas of the pitch: Hakim Ziyech is a natural-born playmaker who is at his best playing behind the striker or operating on the wings. The 26-year-old is one of the best dribblers in European football at the moment. He averages 2.6 successful dribbles per 90 mins in Eredivise and 2.2 successful dribbles per 90 mins in the Champions League this season.
The word ‘playmaker’ gets thrown around a lot these days but if ever there was a player worthy of this title then it has to be Hakim Ziyech. The 26-year-old averages 3.7 created chances per 90 mins in Eredivise and 2.5 chances created per 90 mins in the Champions League so far this season.
3. Chelsea will need Ziyech to be their creator-in-chief: The right winger often likes to cut back on to his left foot and deliver dangerously whipped crosses in the box. Ziyech does not like to stay in one position throughout the 90 minutes. He will pop on the left, he would go central and even lurk right outside the penalty box to take shots at the goal.
The former FC Twente man averages 4.6 shots per 90 mins in Eredivise and 3.2 shots per game in this season’s Champions League. The Blues are one of the worst ranked sides in Premier League this season when it comes to converting big chances and are below average in their shot conversion as well.
With Ziyech in the playing XI next season, Frank Lampard will have a player who is not afraid to demand the ball, look to find his teammates and if nothing works out, go all on his own and force loses into draws and convert draws into victories. And also, watch out for the nutmegs, the Ajax man loves nutmegging defenders even when the match is hanging by a thread.