It has been over six months since a deal was reached between Chelsea and Ajax to bring Hakim Ziyech to Stamford Bridge, a tantalising wait for the Moroccan to showcase his skills in English football.
The 27-year-old finally arrived at Cobham in July and trained with the group in the final few weeks of the season in order to accelerate his integration ahead of the 2020/21 campaign. When the group return later this month, Ziyech will be on a par with his new team-mates, ready and available for selection when the new season begins in mid-September.
Having recently looked at how the football world reacted to our signing of Timo Werner, here we pick out some of the best quotes about the man dubbed ‘the wizard of Amsterdam’…
‘I was in Holland on loan two years ago so I knew a bit about him then and obviously how good a player he is. It’s another amazing, world-class player joining the club so I’m buzzing to work with him, train with him and hopefully play with him.’ – Mason Mount
‘I know his qualities. He’s a player we hope can bring creativity. He has a great left foot, plays generally off the right-hand side but can play in behind the frontman as well. He will be something different for us so we’re excited.’ – Frank Lampard
‘We watched Ziyech last season for Ajax and he was magnificent. He reminds me a little bit of Riyad Mahrez but he crosses the ball a little bit more. He’s someone who’s always trying to find a way to unlock defences with his delivery and he has a lot of guile.’ – Rio Ferdinand
HAKIM ZIYECH’S MAN OF THE MATCH PERFORMANCE V CHELSEA
‘We’ve seen the potential offensively in training, the way he creates chances and scores goals so he’s a big addition to the team. The quicker and easier they [Ziyech and Werner] can adapt to the Premier League, the better it will be for everybody so it was good to have them with the group for a few weeks at the end of the season.
‘They are already integrated and know everybody so it’s been a very good time for that and now we’re all looking forward to seeing them on the pitch.’ – Cesar Azpilicueta
‘I haven’t played against him but I’ve seen him a lot of times and I think he can bring good things to the club. We’re all excited to see what he can bring.’ – Andreas Christensen
ZIYECH INVOLVED IN CHELSEA TRAINING AT COBHAM
‘He must have looked at the club and saw the same as I saw – it is a beautiful team in London. They have great love and passion for you even after you play there. It is exceptional. I hope he does well as he is very polite, very nice and very confident.
‘He always wants to show his ability on the ball because he is very technically gifted and also sees things a lot of players won’t see. I like him a lot and I think he will do very well at Chelsea.’ – Mario Melchiot, former Chelsea defender
HAKIM ZIYECH’S FIRST CHELSEA INTERVIEW
‘I’m excited to work with them. It’s fun to play with good players. It’s easy to play with them and those two guys we know are really talented so I’m looking forward to it. We can have a really strong team next season.’ – Christian Pulisic
‘From the outside, looking at what they’ve achieved at their previous clubs, they’re very exciting players who bring a lot of goals and assists. That’s what we need in the side to win games. They’re going to bring a lot to the side and we’re looking forward to playing with them.’ – Ross Barkley