The Moroccan star has had a good start in life at Chelsea, although untimely injuries threaten to derail the playmaker in the New Year.
Undeniably, Hakim Ziyech’s move to Chelsea has excited the entire Blues fan base, due to the Moroccan superstar’s exploits at Ajax, especially in the previous two seasons and a bit.
The Amsterdam magician played a pivotal role in the Dutch Giants’ Champions League run in 2018/19, with his ingenuity and final product garnering praise from observers.
As such, the announcement in February had club followers eagerly awaiting the 2020/21 campaign, which was still months away and despite being locked in a battle to end in automatic CL spots.
Fast forward to the start of this season and those expectations have been matched with strong performances for North Africa.
Despite a stoppage-start of a few months at Cobham, largely due to injury, Ziyech has been one of the club’s best players this season and arguably the best signing for the new season (Thiago Silva has perhaps be a thing or two to say about it, though) and should play an important role in the team’s quest for consistency at national level and a return to notoriety in Europe in the New Year.
Ziyech: The Story of 2020
The cancellation of the Eredivisie in April, due to the pandemic, prevented Ziyech from playing his last Dutch campaign to his prime, which infuriated Twente’s former attacking midfielder.
He had a few choice words to say about the decision to shorten the campaign with Erik teammate ten Hag at the time with AZ Alkmaar on 56 points with nine games to go.
Even though the Giants had seen standards slip a bit in 19/20, the wide playmaker was second in assists (12) behind teammate Dusan Tadic (14) as he had scored six times before the suspension of the league and possible cancellation.
That, along with Ajax’s early elimination from the Europa League, allowed Ziyech to join the Chelsea squad earlier than expected, apparently keen on a smooth integration into Frank Lampard’s squad.
Sadly, the 27-year-old suffered an early setback ahead of the start of the season, with an injury to the West Londoners, Brighton & Hove Albion’s only pre-season game, preventing him from appearing in the club’s opening games from 20/21. .
Upon his return, however, the Amsterdam magician began to justify his nickname with a string of solid Premier League performances, with a majestic performance against Sheffield United, a major highlight so far.
Unfortunately for Ziyech, another injury plagued Leeds United in early December ruling out the maverick for a few weeks and it remains to be seen if he will feature again this year.
Ziyech: Any transfer rumors?
Definitely not. Having just signed for the Blues, only a disastrous turn of events on and off the pitch will lead to a transfer of links away from the club.
Ziyech: a great ambition for 2021
Certainly for the playmaker to stay in shape in Chelsea’s quest to close the gap with defending champion Liverpool in PL, challenge in the later stages of the FA Cup and, above all, better compete in the Champions League after having failed to progress beyond the first round knockout since 2013/14.
Lampard’s side appear a more menacing force with Ziyech in the squad and the former Ajax man has been the club’s most impressive offensive arrivals this summer.
Ziyech: a great fear for 2021
In a crowded season with several games crammed into the schedule, the playmaker’s insignificant poorly timed injuries could continue to hamper Chelsea’s chances of overpowering Liverpool and improving in Europe.
With Timo Werner struggling for form and Kai Havertz still adjusting to the English game, the absence of North Africa at key times could slow the Blues down.
Failure to finish in the top four – the competition promises to be very tight this season – will be a disaster for Lampard who has been backed into the summer window and will raise doubts about the 21/22 campaign.