Ziyech’s Morocco display adds to Chelsea’s January transfer headache

Robin Bairner
Robin Bairner 23 Nov 2022 13:25 GMT 3 min read
Hakim Ziyech, Chelsea, 2022/23

Hakim Ziyech showed why he’s set to be such a headache for Chelsea during the January transfer window during Morocco’s 0-0 World Cup draw with Croatia

Ziyech has played only nine matches for the Blues this season, compiling just 270 minutes across three competitions for his club side. Indeed, he has played more minutes for Morocco.

Glued to the bench, it is natural that he is linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge. He was closely linked with a move to Milan in the summer, and those rumours persist.

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Indeed, he has cut a frustrating figure since arriving at Chelsea in a €40 million deal from Ajax in the summer of 2020. During this time, his FootballTransfers valuation has dropped to €20m – around half of its peak.

Recouping good value on the 29-year-old, whose contract is up in 2025, promises to be a difficult challenge, particularly with Milan so far the only serious suitors.

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The good and the bad of Hakim Ziyech

And his performance against Croatia highlighted why. Ziyech was one of the most dangerous players in a first half that his side dictated. He frequently took up dangerous areas and produced two efforts on goal. During the second period, though, he disappeared entirely, so much so that it was easy to believe that he had been replaced at the break.

More was expected against a Croatia team not firing on all cylinders, and it was clear that more was there – it simply did not come.

Hakim Ziyech set to leave Chelsea in January

Hakim Ziyech set to leave Chelsea in January

And that is the story of Ziyech’s Chelsea career. With nearly 100 appearances on the close for the Stamford Bridge side, he has produced 14 goals and 10 assists, never confirming his undoubted potential.

But Ziyech’s inability to translate his quality moments into more a more consistent threat is one of the reasons he finds himself on the periphery of Graham Potter’s plans. It is also the reason his transfer value has dropped.

Milan may see him as being worth the gamble, but a lack of other suitors means that it’s a buyers’ market for Ziyech come the January transfer window – and that is not good news for Chelsea. They could really do with him rediscovering his best form with Morocco.