With the departure of Eden Hazard to Real Madrid last two seasons, Frank Lampard had set his sights on signing a long-term replacement for the prolific midfielder. Step forward, Ziyech, the man tasked to fill the void left by the mercurial Belgian.
Make no mistake. Ziyech was not as good as Hazard but he is getting there having been a class act with Ajax in the past two seasons before his dream move to Chelsea.
According to Talk Sport, Ziyech had laid on more than 20 goals a season for three campaigns at Ajax, and starred in two Champions League group stage matches against the Blues.
He was one of the best players on the pitch when Ajax drew 4-4 at Stamford Bridge in November and he put in two eye-catching performances in the Champions League semi-finals against Tottenham last season.
Those performances, no doubt, convinced Chelsea to part with £36m for his signature on the 1st of July, 2020, but there’s more to prove that the Moroccan could fill the void left by Eden Hazard at Stamford Bridge.
Hakim Ziyech scored his first Premier League goal at the Turf Moor yesterday and laid on an assist in the dismantling of Burnley at home, a return that implies that the midfielder has now involved in 30 goals directly in 40 appearances for Ajax and Chelsea.
11 goals ⚽️
19 assists 🅰️
Since the beginning of last season, Hakim Ziyech was directly involved in 3️⃣0️⃣ goals in 40 matches for both Ajax & Chelsea in all comps.
Mason Mount approved 👍 pic.twitter.com/37AXp5W0Q4
— Goal (@goal) October 31, 2020
Apart from his direct goal involvement, the 27-year-old has shown brilliance on and off the ball, a trait that is comparable to former Blues talisman, Hazard.
Frank Lampard paid glowing tribute to the Moroccan following his outstanding display against Burnley.
‘I knew the quality, but to see him first-hand at the training ground it was so frustrating that he got injured because I could see it.
‘But his personality, his work rate off the ball – which I think some people might expect a winger with his technical qualities to not have a work ethic for the team – he has that.
‘I think you saw that again today. And then that bit of quality, which is something that maybe is a different quality to what we had last year and what we had in the team. He brings something different.’