Ajax’s former manager, Hans de Jong has rubbished all concerns about Hakim Ziyech’s physicality ahead of his Premier League switch to Chelsea.
The Blues paid £33.3m for the 27-year-old but fans and pundits are not entirely convinced about his strengths pertaining to the Premier League.
Ziyech is a technical player who is expected to heavily shoulder creative responsibilities from next season. He has been outstanding for Ajax over the past two seasons which is why Frank Lampard sanctioned a move for the Moroccan.
Hans de Jong said, “They are still saying that he has a problem with his physicality. That is what everybody is saying right now but they were saying the same when he came from the academy at Heerenveen. They said the same when he went to Twente – problem with his physicality. Same thing at Ajax. So I don’t think it’s a problem. I have absolutely no doubts. He is going to beat the next challenge.”
Of course, Ziyech is expected to go through an adaptation phase at Chelsea but his playing style does not depend heavily on engaging in physical battles with his opponents. The Moroccan uses his technical abilities, dribbling, passing and vision to impact the game on the opposite end of the pitch. Like most attacking midfielders, his job will lie in carrying the ball out of tight spots and setting up key chances for Tammy Abraham or other Chelsea players to get to the end of.
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