Hakim Ziyech, the Wizard of AMS has brought his magic to West London. Eden Hazard's departure took away some of the X-factor from the team, but Ziyech has a repertoire of his own to help fill that void.
Ziyech had to wait for his first two starts for Chelsea until this week, thanks to an unfortunate injury in preseason, but against both Krasnodar and Burnley, he responded with a goal and the Man of the Match award. Yesterday against Burnley, a team usually tough to break down, Ziyech forced the matter with some incisive passing before opening the scoring with a pin-point near shot past Nick Pope (who expected the shot to go far post and overcommitted).
After the game, head coach Frank Lampard praised Ziyech’s work with an without the ball, most importantly, his personality, which is an important factor in any winning team, but especially a young one likes Chelsea’s.
“He brings a different property to us, with an eye for a pass, his receiving, crossing and assist-making. But what I have seen since he has been here is his absolute personality when he plays to want the ball. His work-rate off the ball is very, very good as well.
“He has brought those qualities and comes with real confidence. He has given us a big boost. His demeanour, the way he plays. Two games in a few days with a trip to Russia for him after being out for so long has been really good by him.”
-Frank Lampard; source: Football.London
The 3-0 win capped a good week for Chelsea and Ziyech, who was at the heart of the last two wins.
Behind the scenes, the 27-year-old has had no trouble settling in and is enjoying life at Chelsea already. If social media’s any indicator, he’s fit in well with the young group, while on the pitch, his fearless attitude is starting to rub off on others as well. That extra bite, that bit of confidence could be key going forward.
"It has been a really good week for me and hopefully we can continue. Especially after the European game, coming here [to Burnley], I think we did a really good game. We started well and gave Burnley problems. They had one big chance at the beginning but after that we controlled the game.”
"Life at Chelsea is good, I am where I am supposed to be. I feel good and feel at home and everything is fine. It is one of the most important things, that you play with confidence and don’t be scared of making mistakes"
- Hakim Ziyech; source: Chelsea FC
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