If fans had any concerns about Hakim Ziyech, 27, when he finally arrives at Chelsea, former Blue Jesper Gronkjaer will put those to bed. Ziyech’s £37 million move to west London is on hold due to the Coronavirus. Regardless of how long it takes, Gronkjaer backs Ziyech to succeed.
Former Chelsea Man Jesper Gronkjaer Backs Hakim Ziyech To Succeed
Ziyech To Make An Impact Immediately
“Ziyech was the one who has caught my eye over the past two seasons even though he wasn’t produced by Ajax’s academy,” Gronkjaer told Goal. He continued, “…for Chelsea [Ziyech] will be in the starting XI straight away.”
Ziyech played 21 games this year for Ajax, shortened due to the Coronavirus. Eight goals and 21 assists across all competitions, while impressive, was actually a bit of a dip in contributions. In 2018/19, when Ajax made a run to the Champions League semifinals, Ziyech racked up 21 goals and 24 assists.
Despite a slight regression this year, the overall trend for Ziyech is one direction, up. According to WhoScored, Ziyech has averaged a rating above 8 in the Eredivisie each of the past three seasons. Very few players average that high of a score in one season, let alone two.
But now a third in a row? That is an incredible amount of consistency from the Moroccan winger.
“You need players like that. I think all the top clubs will have looked at Ziyech and asked the question if he is good enough for our team” Gronkjaer opined. Clearly the Blues think he is good enough. And looking at the stats, Chelsea should be ecstatic they signed him in a few months ago.
Gronkjaer High Praise for Other Chelsea Players
Gronkjaer, a forward himself, played at Ajax for two years before moving to Stamford Bridge in 2000. And he knows all about the expectations at Chelsea. Why? Because he set them, scoring one of the most pivotal goals in Chelsea history, the winner over Liverpool in 2003 which qualified the Blues for the next year’s Champions League. But more importantly, it was the final catalyst leading to Roman Abramovich’s takeover.
More than just Ziyech, Gronkjaer sees a very bright future at Chelsea with loads of talent around the pitch. “…we still have yet to see the true potential of Christian Pulisic as well because he is going to be a great player.”
“As a Dane, we all look at Andreas Christensen,” he said. “Before the [Coronavirus] break, it looked like he was the first choice to play in defense and you would not expect it at the beginning of the season.”
Gronkajer isn’t the first to praise any of Chelsea’s current or future players. And he certainly won’t be the last. The Blues have an incredible setup and Ziyech joining only strengthens their squad for the immediate future.