Hakim Ziyech’s transfer to Chelsea is not official by any means yet, but the only thing it seems to be lacking at this point are the official confirmations and announcements. Over the past 24 hours, Chelsea have practically delivered the €45m-man to Stamford Bridge.
Or did he deliver himself to Stamford Bridge? He certainly passed his audition in November with flying colors!
Ziyech’s current head coach, Erik ten Hag told Fox Sports last night that he had been expecting the 26-year-old to leave for the last couple years. So why didn’t he?
As Ten Hag tells it, it’s because like the Cylons, Ziyech had a plan.
”I have known for a long time what Hakim wants. He has a picture in mind. He knows exactly which clubs he finds interesting and which not. Chelsea is a fantastic club. When it is final, I am very happy for Hakim, and I am very proud of it.”
Ziyech was heavily linked with Bayern Munich last summer, but instead of transferring, he opted to sign a new three-year contract that included an increase in his buyout fee from €30m to €45m. Clearly a win-win situation for him and his soon to be former club, and certainly a nice way to repay the development and education he had received over the past four seasons.
Ziyech explained his choice thusly.
“I love football and at Ajax I experience football the way I prefer it. Attack on the ball, pressure without the ball. I have been able to develop here in both areas. And I can enjoy both aspects. It brings out the best in me, I think.”
“[If the feeling isn’t right] I’d rather stay with Ajax. Yes, [Bayern] could have been. [But if] a club does not give me the perfect good feeling, then not. A transfer has never been a sacred goal.”
-Hakim Ziyech, August 2019; source: VoetbalZone via Google Translate
Here’s to that perfect good feeling at Chelsea!