News Matches

Ziyech branded a ‘special player’ as Van Gaal tells Chelsea they are getting a €40m star

12:08 BST 18/05/2020
Hakim Ziyech, Chelsea logo
The former Ajax boss believes an exciting forward preparing to bid farewell to Amsterdam will thrive on a Premier League stage at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea have been told that they will be getting a “special player” in Hakim Ziyech, with former Ajax and Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal expecting the Morocco international to thrive in England.

A €40 million (£33m/$43m) deal has been put in place to take the 27-year-old to Stamford Bridge.

With the 2019-20 campaign in the Netherlands having been brought to a premature conclusion amid the coronavirus pandemic, the path has been cleared for Ziyech to head for west London.

An emotional farewell has been bid to Amsterdam, with an exciting forward preparing to take on a new challenge after four years with Ajax, with that spell delivering 49 goals in 165 appearances, along with countless assists.

Chelsea have bought into that end product as they seek added creativity in the final third of the field – with the likes of Pedro and Willian seeing their respective contracts run down.

Ziyech is being backed to make an immediate impact in the Premier League, with there few faults to be found in his game.

Van Gaal expects Chelsea to find considerable value in a big-money deal, with there every reason to believe that the Blues have acquired another fan favourite.

“He has developed tremendously at Ajax. Not so much in creativity, but as a team player,” Van Gaal, who has worked in the Netherlands and England over the course of his coaching career, told NOS.

“The public has come to realise that he works very hard for a creative player. And then he also scores goals and gives assists.

“That makes you a special player.”

Van Gaal is not the first to have suggested that Ziyech will hit the ground running at Chelsea.

Boudewijn Pahlpatz, one of his former coaches at FC Twente, has 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."