Former Chelsea midfielder Gus Poyet believes Hakim Ziyech will make Frank Lampard’s side a far more tantalising prospect next season.
The Blues secured Ziyech’s services in January for £37m, but the Ajax star has remained in Amsterdam for the remainder of the campaign.
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- Chelsea landed Ziyech from Ajax for £37m in January, with the creative forward officially joining the club in the summer.
- Lampard secured Ziyech’s services after the Moroccan impressed in their Champions League meetings earlier this season.
- The 27-year-old played a key role as Ajax and Chelsea played out a 4-4 draw at Stamford Bridge in the group stage.
- Lampard has been crying out for a goalscoring wide-man to fill the void of Eden Hazard.
- Poyet believes Ziyech can be that creative fulcrum in the final third for Chelsea.
With Erik ten Hag’s men competing on three fronts during Chelsea’s pursuit of their talismanic forward, the Dutch-born Moroccan opted to stay at the Johan Cruyff Arena until the summer.
Ajax have since exited Europe and were knocked out of the KNVB Cup, while Chelsea were just beginning to gain momentum in their hunt for a top four finish prior to the coronavirus pandemic.
Amid all that has been going on, both within football and away from the game, Poyet believes Chelsea’s acquisition of Ziyech may have slipped people’s minds, but he does think the Moroccan will take the Premier League by storm next term.
“I thought last year he was outstanding, every time he got the ball you thought something would happen with creating chances and scoring goals,” Poyet told Goal. “He is more individual than I was!
“He is more direct but he always tries to affect 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.
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“I think he is that kind of player to bring something to excite people in the stands to get people buying tickets. I was very surprised at the situation where he signs four days after January for next season.
“I couldn’t get it around my head but people have forgotten about his signing. In January, people thought Pedro, Willian and [Olivier] Giroud were going to have an exciting new player to come in.
“Now we can go through 20 names of players that perform at an incredible level in Holland with a few playing very well in England but the majority didn’t. It depends on how quickly he adapts to football and life in England.”