With an important match coming up against Arsenal on Boxing Day, the last thing Chelsea and Frank Lampard want is one of their star players out. However, Lampard has confirmed that Hakim Ziyech will miss the game, in what will surely be a blow to Chelsea.
Chelsea Manager Lampard Delivers Hakim Ziyech Injury Update
Ziyech Absent for Gunners Game
When asked about absent players in the shape of Ben Chilwell and Reece James, Lampard told the clubs’ official website: “They are both doubtful. I can’t give you an answer at the moment. I’m not sure if they will be fit for either game.”
He added: “Hakim Ziyech won’t be fit for Arsenal. He had an injury at the start of the season and he’s just got another muscle injury. You have to wait for it to recover.
“It’s not a long-term concern, we hope to have him back within the next week or so, and hopefully offering what he was before.”
Potential Ziyech Replacement Nearing Full Fitness
One of the main reasons Chelsea have been going through a bit of a rough patch recently was their absence of wingers. Against Everton, Chelsea did not have a single first-team wide player fit, and against Wolverhampton Wanderers, they only had Christian Pulisic.
This has meant that Timo Werner and Kai Havertz have had to cover the wings, which is not their best position. Werner is a striker, and Havertz is an attacking midfielder, and the change in position has affected them both.
Now, though, Pulisic looks to be back to full fitness, and another return from injury could be crucial as Callum Hudson-Odoi is close to a return. The young Englishman suffered a very similar injury to Ziyech’s right around the same time but has recovered faster. He has been in full training for over a week and was on the bench against West Ham United.
While Chelsea won 3-0 and Tammy Abraham scored a brace playing as the No. 9, it’s clear that Werner is still the best option up top. Therefore, if Hudson-Odoi can return to the starting lineup against Arsenal, Werner can finally play in his preferred position.
Abraham will still most likely start again with Werner pushed wide, but Hudson-Odoi certainly presents a viable alternative. When Ziyech is back, though, Werner will surely be the first-choice striker.
Ziyech Very Unlucky at Chelsea So Far Through Injury
While the Moroccan has been showing his quality, he’s also been showing his frailty. He’s been injured twice already, as has Pulisic, which doesn’t bode well for Chelsea’s future. However, Lampard maintains that there’s no concern over any long-term issue for either player.
When Ziyech arrived at the club, he injured his knee in his first pre-season friendly against Brighton & Hove Albion. This kept him out for several weeks, and his return to form coincided with Chelsea’s return to form.
Similarly, his absence has caused a bit of a rough patch with consecutive losses, so Ziyech’s impact is clear already. Having only played a few matches, he brings undeniable quality to the team. No other player at the club has his vision or his passing technique, and he’s so useful to unlock defences.
Whereas Pulisic and Werner, are faster, counter-attack players, Ziyech can carve open the opposition with his passing. Against Arsenal, who may also employ a deep block, he will be sorely missed.
However, Hudson-Odoi is back, and Pulisic and Werner are fit, so they will be tasked with unlocking a very much out-of-form Arsenal defence. Hakim Ziyech won’t be able to help Chelsea win on Boxing Day, but he’ll be hoping his teammates can do the job in his absence.