Chelsea and Dutch club Ajax have reached a verbal agreement on a summer sale for star Hakim Ziyech that will see the attacking midfielder and winger move to Stamford Bridge, according to De Telegraaf. He is set to move in a transfer of €45 million ($49.1 million), according to the report, which seems like a fantastic price for Frank Lampard’s team in this day and age of the transfer market.
The 26-year-old Moroccan star has been the face of Ajax since the departures of the Dutch duo Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona) and Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus) last summer. He’s known for his ability to take players on one-on-one and can connect on vicious shots from range. That, plus his fantastic skill moves and vision could catapult him into the long-term discussion as the replacement down the right wing for Willian, who is out of contract this summer. Like Willian, Ziyech has the ability to not only play on the wing but slide into the attacking midfield role. He joined Ajax from Twente in 2016 and has averaged double digit goals each season since 2014.
Chelsea got an up-close look at Ziyech twice in the Champions League group stage during the first half of the season, with the Blues winning 1-0 at Ajax and drawing them at home 4-4. In that 4-4 game, Ziyech helped Ajax take a 3-1 lead with this ridiculous free kick that found the net after hitting off the post and goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga’s face.
This would be quite the signing for Chelsea as he is in his prime, but you have to wonder what this would mean for American star Christian Pulisic. Remember, Pulisic was not a hand-picked signing of Lampard nor previous coach Maurizio Sarri. He was picked by the club. He has performed well though for the Blues but is .
How this impacts Pulisic will all depend on how exactly Lampard plans on using Ziyech, be it as a winger or as the No. 10 creative engine. He could deploy Ziyech down the right or in the middle and keep Pulisic down the left. Both have the ability to swap wings as well. Naturally, Ziyech is an attacking midfielder and that seems like where he would most likely fit in at Stamford Bridge. This move also raises the question as to whether the Blues will go after Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho this summer or if Ziyech will be their only big signing in attack.
Regardless, having Ziyech, Pulisic and rising superstar striker Tammy Abraham means the Blues could boast one of the league’s top attacking trios before long.