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'Unique' Ziyech will get people watching Chelsea but Premier League is a big step up, says Poyet

09:00 GMT 26/03/2020
Hakim Ziyech Ajax
The Morocco international will arrive in summer in time for next season but has a period of adaptation ahead of him according to Blues midfield legend

Gus Poyet thinks that Hakim Ziyech can provide a new reason to watch Chelsea next season but also believes that the Moroccan may also face difficulties in his early Blues career after his £37 million (€40m/$43m) move was finalised in the winter transfer window.

Ziyech was wanted in January by Chelsea but Ajax were determined to keep their forward until the end of the season as they were competing on three competitive fronts. They have since been knocked out of the KNVB Cup and the Europa League but remain top of the league on goal difference.

Meanwhile, Chelsea have managed to produce back-to-back home wins for the first time since November ahead of the break in play due to the coronavirus outbreak. It has eased pressure on Frank Lampard in the race to finish in the Premier League's top four.

Chelsea legend Poyet is excited to see such a technically gifted player at Stamford Bridge but he still has reservations about the Morocco international. A host of players have made the step up from the Eredivisie to the Premier League but they have had mixed success over the last few decades.

"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.

"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."

Aside from working to sign Ziyech in January, Chelsea were in the market to sign a striker but they couldn't get any deals over the line with Giroud having been keen on a move to play more first-team football.

Chelsea tried to sign the 33-year-old Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani from Paris Saint-Germain on a short-term basis in January but they couldn't agree on a deal.

Poyet would have liked to see his compatriot at Stamford Bridge and now thinks he should find a club where he will start regularly with his contract set to expire in the summer.

"For sure, I would have like to see him and any Uruguayan players in England," he added. "We bring what English people like: that's passion, desire and playing to the maximum all the time—every game whether three o'clock, 9pm, up north or down south or summer or winter.

"There is always desire and passion which is very welcome in England. It is important to have these players in England. All I want for Cavani is a team where he can play up front as the main striker every week so he can enjoy his football.

"He is over 30, after being in big clubs and big cities. Now is the time to enjoy his football. He is good enough to be the main man at most clubs in the world. I would decide on that but he has to decide for him and his family."