Dutch football expert Marcel van der Kraan has revealed that Ajax playmaker Hakim Ziyech is keen on joining Emirates Stadium in search of a new challenge.
Arsenal have received a major boost in their pursuit of Hakim Ziyech this summer. According to Dutch football expert Marcel van der Kraan, the Ajax playmaker is keen on joining Arsenal as he looks to make the next step in his career – as reported by The Sun.
Van der Kraan claims that Ziyech is ready to quit Ajax in search of a new challenge elsewhere, preferably in the Premier League. He told the Sky Sports Transfer Window Podcast: “I know that the player is keen on a club like Arsenal, who have always played good football.
Manchester City also under Pep Guardiola play a kind of Ajax style of football, as do Barcelona. But not all of these clubs will line up for him. I think that if Arsenal did not have Mesut Ozil, they would have been the perfect club for him. But now, he has to choose between clubs in the Bundesliga, two or three clubs.”, he added.
Speaking of Ozil, the German was among the players tipped to leave the club earlier this summer after failing to integrate himself to Unai Emery’s style of play. And shipping him out in favour of the Ziyech transfer might not be a bad idea for Arsenal.
The Gunners are reportedly operating with a limited budget of £40 million this summer. But, the potential departure of Ozil, who bags a sizeable £350k per week wage, could free up a considerable amount of transfer fee for Emery. And ideally, the Spaniard could utilise that extra cash in order to fund a move for Ziyech, who is already one of Europe’s most sought-after attackers.
It is no secret that Arsenal are in need of attacking reinforcements this summer. The North London giants were notably linked with a move for Bournemouth’s Ryan Fraser. But, the Scot has minimal experience at the highest level of football, and it is doubtful whether he will be able to bring Arsenal back among the English elites. Ziyech, in that regard, appears as an ideal alternative.
The Moroccan international has enjoyed three back to back productive seasons since joining Ajax back in 2016, having being involved in 101 goals in just 130 games across all competitions for the Dutch giants. His services in the final third also played a critical role behind Ajax’s remarkable campaign that saw them reach the semi-final of the UEFA Champions League as well as seal their 34th Eredivisie title.
Hence, he is a productive attacker, whose mobility in the final third could add more dynamism to the Arsenal attack. But, what makes Ziyech an appealing target for Arsenal is his versatility as he can, aside from his favoured right wing slot, can also feature in the number ten role. And at the age of 26, the Moroccan international could be a smart long-term investment for the Gunners.