So, last week Chelsea reached an agreement with Ajax for Hakim Ziyech, a player who is a quality no.10, a set-piece specialist with an ability to score and create goals.
Hakim Ziyech rose to prominence, likewise many of his teammates, in Ajax after their outstanding run in the Champions League last season.
The, 26 y/o Moroccan’s style of play, goal-scoring & creativity in the Champions League especially, was pivotal in Ajax run to reach the semis.
Not to take away his brilliant performances in Eridivese helping secure the title for Ajax.
Hakim Ziyech, garnered widespread attention with clubs such as Madrid & Arsenal wanting him but nothing materialized and as soon as the transfer ban lifted off of Chelsea, they went on to secure his deal.
He showcased his skills against Chelsea this season too, at Stamford Bridge, in Champions League group stages.
Chelsea under Lampard is in a transition period, they aren’t yet a stable club but the direction is set.
The board & the manager are on the same page.
I’ve talked about the transfer ban being a blessing in disguise & it showed us why?
Lampard brings in the philosophy we never saw at Chelsea, attack minded team with high press & quick transitions.
The integration of youngsters in the squad was necessary, it not only showed Chelsea supporters about their strengths in the academy but also showed them the style Lampard wanted.
The players, currently at Chelsea, most of them have past their prime & are in that stage of life where they can’t play the fast, high pressing game like he wants.
It’s an aging squad & most of the players are the types which have been playing a certain conservative style of football. Successful? Yes but now it’s a different era.
In the past, we’ve seen some really brilliant Chelsea sides, not to take away the credit, those sides won trophies but they were conservative sides.
When I say conservative, I mean they used to play a deep sitting line with counter-attacking football.
Those sides were more inclined towards defense & that is how they were built.
The players were bought in for that purpose.
The target man upfront, pacey wingers to capitalize on counters.
With Lampard, it’s a different story.
He wants an aggressive side with pace, possession & high-press.
Players with strong work ethic and control. A attacking side but also defensively sound.
A team more like in a shadow of Manchester City or Liverpool, balanced but having its own identity.
Hakim Ziyech is one of those players that fit his philosophy.
What’s really note-worthy is Ziyech’s work ethic. Something which I’m pretty sure Lampard loves.
This lad never stops pressing or running.
He tracks back to defend and tries to create when going forward, scores goals too, of-course.
If you really want to know more about his work ethic, in the semi-final against Spurs, he was fasting and doing his thing on the field brilliantly.
He didn’t look tired or jaded.
Ziyech was on it in the game, and when the time came to break the fast, he did it during the game & continued on.
Fasting and playing is the toughest thing ever.
My personal experience, you have nothing in your belly & in your body.
No fluids & no proteins, your body is weak.
I’ve played cricket during my fast and trust me, there were times I felt like I was going to fall anytime.
Cricket is easier compared to football in every way. And when the time comes to break the fast after a whole day at dusk, when you eat something, you just want to lay down & rest. Your body begs that because you’ve been empty for the whole day.
It feels as if whatever little strength you have, is taken away.
He’s the sort of attacker which Klopp loves just like Mane, Salah or Firmino.
Lampard has gone in to get someone who fits his philosophy and Chelsea badly need creativity in midfield, pace & goals.
The goals & creativity Hazard brought is no longer there but with Hakim Ziyech, they will probably get that.
Under Lampard, surely he will not only develop but also perform unlike in the past where many good players failed at Chelsea.
He is a classic no.10 who would bring stability in Chelsea’s midfield.
Hakim Ziyech has everything in his locker needed by Chelsea.
Pedro & Willian, both of them are no longer the same, aged.
Pulisic is the only ideal winger they have.
Mount is still raw but amazing potential & so is Abrahams.
Hudson Odoi is a real talent too, but not a starter.
Their midfield is good but too slow & also in their late 20s.
Only Kovacic is the young one.
The back-line isn’t stable as well.
It is true, they have had injuries & they have enjoyed some good runs but that’s how it is in transition periods.
No consistency but the philosophy is set.
The young talents are given the confidence to fit in and be driven under that philosophy & Ziyech is just the start of the building process.
A young squad with pace, quality, high intensity & work rate.
Lampard will go for a striker, not a target man like Drogba or Demba Ba but more like Firmino or Werner type (who’s linked with Chelsea) and he wants a quick front 3 just like City & Liverpool.
Sancho has been linked with Chelsea too and everyone knows Chelsea can afford it.
With Ziyech in Lampard’s midfield, he will give them a serious boost when it comes to pressing, passing, and creativity.
This team, the way it is taking the steps, looks likely to be one hell of a team in coming seasons.
If they get their signings right just like this one & give Lampard enough time.