Hakim Ziyech had been lighting up the Eredivisie for some seasons with Ajax before Chelsea made the move for the versatile midfielder.
The Morocco international was expected to hit the ground running on his arrival at Stamford Bridge but this hasn’t been the case. The story is the same for most of Chelsea’s new recruits ahead of the 2020/21 season.
It can be recalled that Ziyech joined Chelsea from Ajax in a deal worth £36m but has not hit the ground running as expected. He has now opened up about his struggles at the club since his arrival.
Ziyech, 27, had a knee injury and made his first start for the Blues under Frank Lampard last October. Since then, he has started just 8 Premier League matches but is confident that he can fulfill his potential at the club.
“It was a difficult first half-year,” Ziyech told Ziggo Sport, as quoted by Voetbalzone.
“Of course I immediately started with an injury, came back, then had another injury. So things are not going the way I had hoped.
“But, as most know, I always have faith in myself. I know what I can do, so I don’t worry too much about that. The real Ziyech will be there.
“It is faster than at Ajax. Luckily I picked that up pretty quickly until I got injured in the first exhibition game, which then throws you back all the way. And not even after that. That was a bummer. ”
Ziyech has played once since the arrival of new boss Thomas Tuchel and is confident that he will get a proper chance to impress on the wings or through the middle. He is one player whose versatility should work to his advantage with regards to getting quality game time.
Ziyech added: “You know that can happen if the results are not good. It is also not the first time that it happens to me that the trainer is fired, so I know how to deal with that.
“We will have to wait and see what kind of system he (Tuchel) wants to play in. We have already played twice with three defenders and I was a second ten.
“But as you know: whether I play on the right or in the centre, that doesn’t really matter to me. As long as I play. That is the most important.”