Graham Potter warns Hakim Ziyech he must continue to ‘be patient’ at Chelsea as he pushes for more first team minutes… with Moroccan star’s impressive World Cup NOT changing his role in Blues squad
- Hakim Ziyech impressed with Morocco as they got to a World Cup semi-final
- Chelsea boss Graham Potter has since been asked how Ziyech’s role may change
- The winger found himself on the periphery of the team before the World Cup
- Potter has warned Ziyech he must ‘be patient’ despite impressing out in Qatar
Hakim Ziyech has been told to ‘be patient’ for his opportunities at Chelsea, despite an impressive World Cup strengthening his claim for a starting role.
Ziyech headed to Qatar on the periphery of Chelsea’s side, with his minutes far from consistent under boss Graham Potter.
In Morocco’s run to the semi-finals, Ziyech impressed but Potter has stressed the winger needs to bide his time with so many good players rivalling for his position.
Hakim Ziyech’s hopes of returning to Chelsea from Qatar as a starter have been dashed
Graham Potter has stressed that many players in his squad, including Ziyech, must ‘be patient’
‘He played against Man City, and came on against Newcastle. Where he was when we first came, he was a little bit away from the first XI,’ Potter said at a press conference on Friday.
‘He’s been involved in the games and came on in the first game as a sub. We know his qualities, we like him as a player, and he plays between the lines with fantastic quality as we saw in the World Cup.
‘At Chelsea, there are always good players who aren’t in the starting XI and have to be patient. Delighted for him, and kept in touch with him over the World Cup.
‘Delighted for him that he got the game time, delighted for him that he helped his team, he’s a good guy and he’s got quality.’
Ziyech has fallen short of expectations at Chelsea so far but impressed over in Qatar
The midfielder has more goals for country than club in this season after notching in World Cup
The Moroccan has had a turbulent time in west London since joining Chelsea from Ajax in 2020 and has failed to live up to the expectations previously set out for him.
Ziyech, who is under contract until 2025, has attracted interest from Italy, specifically from AC Milan.
And former Chelsea winger Joe Cole believes Ziyech’s success with his national team is proof that English football doesn’t suit his skillset.
Cole said: ‘He just looks like a happier player for Morocco. He’s had a very difficult time at Chelsea and he hasn’t had a rhythm to his game.
‘The Premier League doesn’t suit him. It’s aggressive, up and down. Playing for Ajax he could hug the touchline and the team would very much play through the lines, give him the ball and he’s got a lovely left-foot, comes inside and delivers the ball.
Ziyech boasted an incredible goal contribution record from his time spent with Ajax
‘But when we’ve watched him here [Qatar], he’s playing with an intensity and a smile on his face. Ziyech is a talented boy but it’s just not worked for him at Chelsea.’
There had been great expectations for Ziyech when he first arrived at Stamford Bridge after the sensational season he had for Ajax just before joining.
The 29-year-old picked up six goals and 13 assists in his final season at the Johan Cruyff Arena – which persuaded Chelsea to part ways with €40million (£34.4m) for his services.
In total, for the Dutch giants, Ziyech recorded a staggering 49 goals and 81 assists from 165 games. In contrast, he’s managed just 14 goals and 10 assists in his 92 Chelsea appearances.
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