Hakim Ziyech is nearing his competitive Chelsea debut and it couldn’t be coming at a better time for Frank Lampard. After spending more than £200million, the Blues’ domestic season has got off to a decidedly mixed start.
Wins over Brighton and Crystal Palace were expected, but only picking up a point against West Brom was definitely a case of two points dropped.
As well as that, Chelsea’s richly assembled squad were beaten comfortably by champions Liverpool at Stamford Bridge, highlighting the sizeable gap still present between the two.
But with a two-week international break coming to an end over the next 48-hours, Lampard looks set to finally be able to call upon all of his new recruits.
Timo Werner and Kai Havertz have both flashed in the early weeks of the season, but so far, have failed to fully justify their lofty transfer fees.
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However, one signing that has yet to be able to show his talents for his new club is Ziyech.
The former Ajax midfielder has been made to wait for his Premier League bow. After his pre-contract agreement was signed back in February, fans have been eagerly awaiting his first showing.
The Moroccan international picked up a knee injury in Chelsea’s pre-season clash with Brighton, ruling him out of the first month of the season.
But on the back of minutes for his national team, he could be ready to enter the fray for a potentially pivotal week for Lampard’s side.
Chelsea face Southampton on Saturday, before starting their Champions League campaign vs Sevilla in midweek. They then follow that up with a visit to Old Trafford to face under-fire Manchester United.
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Against United, Ziyech is likely to come up against ex-Ajax teammate Donny van de Beek. The Red Devils midfielder has also been made to wait to fuly make his impact in the English game, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reluctant to throw him in from the start.
Speaking back in February, van de Beek opened up about how confident he was that Ziyech would shine in English football.
“Yes, if I hear all the reports, I will assume that it is already far,” he told Voetbal Primeur.
“I wish him everything and hope he will do very well there. It is a step he deserves in my opinion. He is a fantastic football player, so I am confident that he will do well.
“I think it’s a very nice club with a lot of young players that can grow. I think Hakim will certainly be in [the right] place. Everyone, of course, had their opinion about that, but I think it’s a nice club for him.”
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And van de Beek isn’t the only man in the United camp to think Chelsea may have landed their biggest coup in signing Ziyech.
“We watched Ziyech last season for Ajax, he was magnificent,” Ferdinand told BT Sport.
“He reminds me a little bit of [Riyad] Mahrez but he crosses the ball a little bit more.
“He’s someone who’s really always trying to find a way to unlock defences with his delivery. A lot of guile.
“I’m looking to see them passes when he cuts with his left foot and has the likes of Mason Mount, Timo Werner Kai Havertz etc all making runs and I think Ziyech will be putting it on a plate for these boys.”
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