Chelsea are reportedly interested in launching a summer move for Moroccan international Hakim Ziyech, who has been starring for AFC Ajax.
According to a report from Italian outlet Calciomercato, Premier League heavyweights Chelsea have their sights set on AFC Ajax star Hakim Ziyech and are pondering over the possibility of a summer move for the Moroccan.
The 25-year-old Ziyech came through the youth ranks at Heerenveen, before switching to FC Twente in 2014, where he spent two years, following which he made the switch to Ajax in a €11 million deal, as per Transfermarkt.com. Since joining the Dutch giants, Ziyech has featured 113 times, scoring 35 goals and assisting 50 more.
A versatile operator, who can play as a central attacking midfielder or on the right flank or even in a more withdrawn role in midfield, Ziyech is enjoying his most prolific season for Ajax this time out. In 32 matches across all competitions in the 2018-19 season, he has found the net on 16 occasions, while he has also set up 13 more, emerging as the Dutch outfit’s most valuable player.
The 22-time capped Moroccan international starred for Ajax even as they were defeated 1-2 by Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League last week. And his performances this term, have managed to catch the attention of Chelsea, as per Calciomercato.
Chelsea are going through a bit of a patchy form since the turn of the year, leading to intense pressure on manager Maurizio Sarri. While question marks remain over the future of the under-fire Italian boss, amid links with former PSG manager Laurent Blanc, the Blues seem to be pressing ahead with their planning for the summer transfer window.
Eden Hazard’s future at the club remains a subject of intense speculation, amid serious interest from Real Madrid, while Pedro and Willian haven’t been consistent enough on the opposite flank. While Chelsea will have Christian Pulisic in their ranks next season, adding someone of Ziyech’s abilities would add more dynamism and cutting edge to their attack.
Moreover, with the Moroccan international perfectly capable of operating in a midfield three, he could also be viewed as a direct replacement for Mateo Kovacic, who will return to Real Madrid once his loan deal expires at the end of the season.
Ziyech’s contract with Ajax runs out in the summer of 2021 and judging by his performances this season, the midfielder seems to be ready for a step up in his career. And Chelsea would stand to benefit immensely by signing the Moroccan superstar. However, they will have to battle Borussia Dortmund and AS Roma, who are also interested in the 25-year-old according to TMW.
There are no doubts over the fact that Ziyech is going places and would greatly improve any team he plays for. But, it remains to be seen if Chelsea do translate their reported interest into a formal approach for the 25-year-old in the summer.