‘Ziyech will overcome challenges at Chelsea’ – Physicality not a problem for €40m star, say former coaches
Hakim Ziyech will “beat the next challenge” presented to him at Chelsea, according to his former coaches at FC Twente, with the highly-rated winger expected to be a €40 million (£33m/$43m) success story for the Blues.
Those at Stamford Bridge have moved to put a big-money deal in place for the Morocco international, with an agreement struck with Ajax set to be pushed through over the summer.
Premier League heavyweights believe they are acquiring one of European football’s top creative influences, with goals and assists aplenty having been delivered by Ziyech during his time in the Netherlands.
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Questions have been asked of whether he can handle the rigours of life in England, with his game needing to be taken to even greater heights.
Boudewijn Pahlpatz and Hans de Jong are, however, convinced that the 26-year-old will welcome the opportunity to silence any doubters and prove that his skill set can easily be transferred from the Eredivisie to any other top division.
Pahlpatz, who worked with Ziyech at Twente, told Sky Sports: "He has played in the Eredivisie for seven or eight years now and knows all about Holland.
"The step to the Premier League will do him good. He will be playing with the best players every day and that is a new challenge for him. I think he will do well there.
"He will have to get used to the amount of games and the physical side but in the end he will succeed, for sure."
De Jong added: "They are still saying that he has a problem with his physicality.
"That is what everybody is saying right now but they were saying the same when he came from the academy at Heerenveen. They said the same when he went to Twente – problem with his physicality. Same thing at Ajax. So I don’t think it’s a problem.
"I have absolutely no doubts. He is going to beat the next challenge."
Ziyech netted 21 times for Ajax across all competitions last season, with the target found on eight occasions in 2019-20 alongside a stunning haul of 21 assists.
Frank Lampard has bought into those qualities and will be looking to add them to an attacking pot in west London which already includes the likes of Callum Hudson-Odoi, Christian Pulisic and Mason Mount.