The transfer window may have just closed, but it looks as if Chelsea have finally secured their first signing under manager Frank Lampard. De Telegraaf broke the news Wednesday and Chelsea confirmed Thursday that the Blues have agreed to buy Hakim Ziyech from Ajax for €45 million.
Chelsea Win Race to Sign Hakim Ziyech
The 26-year-old Morocco international will make the move to Stamford Bridge this summer as the Dutch club wanted to keep their star man as they pursue another Eredivisie title and a Europa League title. Ziyech broke out last season during Ajax’s Cinderella run to the Champions League semifinals. In 49 games across all competitions, he racked up an impressive 21 goals and 24 assists.
This season, he has tallied eight goals and 21 assists so far, with some of those taking place in front of Lampard. Chelsea took four of six points off the Dutch side in the Champions League group stage this fall and Ziyech was at his finest. In the first half in Amsterdam, his shot took a deflection right into the path of Quincy Promes who tapped it in for the opener. However, it was ruled out for offside by VAR.
In the reverse fixture, Ziyech recorded three assists, including a beautiful cross on a free kick that banged off the post and then ricocheted off Kepa and into the net for an own goal.
Ziyech no doubt impressed his future manager in the two matches, helping lead to his signing.
Next Year’s Squad
His summer arrival certainly spells doom for veterans Willian and Pedro whose contracts expire after the season. With Christian Pulisic, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Mason Mount possibly, and now Ziyech as options in the wide forward positions, the Brazilian and Spaniard have likely seen their time in west London come to an end.
Ziyech’s signing also likely rules out the signing of Jadon Sancho for Chelsea, with youngster’s price assumed to be north of €100 million.
Did Chelsea buy the right player? How will they spend the other money available this summer? Chelsea disappointingly failed to sign anyone in the January transfer window after fighting so hard for reverse the transfer ban. Now, it seems as though they’re getting a head start on next season.