Football News

Hakim Ziyech: I would love to return to Ajax one day

By Ben Green

Published: 11:45, 7 December 2021

Chelsea forward Hakim Ziyech has opened the door on a future return to Ajax, saying he would “love” to one day play for the club again.

The 40-capped Morocco international made a name for himself at the Johan Cruyff Arena between 2016 and 2020, famously helping the club reach the Europa League final in 2016/17 and the Champions League semi-final in 2018/19.

That famous European run saw Erik ten Hag’s men claim the scalps of Juventus and Real Madrid in a star-studded squad that included Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt, prompting a transfer raid on Amsterdam from some of the continent’s biggest clubs.

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De Jong and De Ligt moved to Barcelona and Juventus respectively, while Manchester United snapped up Donny van de Beek and Ziyech moved to Chelsea, where he has since established himself as a threatening but largely inconsistent forward.

The 28-year-old has only started four Premier League games this season under Thomas Tuchel and is yet to rediscover the prolific form he showcased for Ajax, whom he now admits he would one to love to play for again.

He told Ziggo Sport: “I would love to. I had a fantastic time there.

“It’s a place where I have felt at home, and whether it will ever happen, the future will tell. If it is up to me, it will definitely happen.

“That’s not up to me; I leave that to them. I just try to enjoy every day now and do my thing.

“What the future brings, we’ll see then. Like I said, I hope it happens one day. Whether it will happen is not up to me.”

Ziyech represented Ajax on 165 occasions after joining from Twente as a mercurial but deadly winger, scoring 49 times and registering a more-than-respectable 81 assists. His form in the Dutch capital prompted Chelsea to prise him away for €40m last summer, but he is yet to showcase those kind of figures in England.

So far, Ziyech has turned out for the Blues 54 times, but is yet to hit double digits for either goals scored (nine) or assists registered (eight). Tuchel will be determined to see those numbers skyrocket this season or Ziyech may continue to find his place oscillate between the bench and the starting team-sheet.