Chelsea secured the signing of Hakim Ziyech from Ajax for a fee of around £33.5M in February 2020.
The 27-year-old officially became Frank Lampard’s first signing as Chelsea’s manager.
The Moroccan winger is seen as an integral part of Chelsea’s squad rebuild as he is in no doubt a very class signing for the West London Giants.
Hakim Ziyech moved to England fully in July and has been training with the Chelsea squad ever since.
He featured for the first time in a Chelsea shirt against Brighton in a pre-season friendly.
Chelsea Supporters caught a glimpse of what Ziyech is capable of and why he was termed ‘The Wizard of Amsterdam’ at Ajax as he delivered a beautiful pass to set up Chelsea’s only goal.
In this article, we will be giving a detailed analysis of Hakim Ziyech, highlighting key strengths as well as weaknesses.
He will also be compared statistically to a number of top wingers in the Premier League.
The wingers in comparison are Salah, Mané, Sterling, Mahrez, Pulisic, Rashford, Hudson-Odoi, Pépé, Bergwijn, Son, Barnes and Adama Traore.
PS: To ensure maximum fairness, the stats used for Hakim Ziyech are his UEFA Champions League stats.
Starting off looking at what Hakim Ziyech is being brought to Chelsea to be and that is a creative force, on the right to help Chelsea break down deep opponents.
We will also be looking at Pulisic and Callum Hudson-Odoi in this article as well as Ziyech, but really main focus is on Hakim.
•Ziyech creativity metrics is one of the very best. With very high expected assists and key pass numbers per 90. Only Riyad Mahrez does better in these metrics. Pulisic is fairly poor, however. Callum Hudon-Odoi comes out third best by far in this category.
•One problem sometimes Chelsea is getting the ball into the box successfully. Often playing around the box with little penetration. Ziyech changes this playing more passes into the box than anyone else. A good thing to see is that CHO too is extremely good at this while Pulisic isn’t.
•To end with creativity, looking at Shot and goal creating actions, our Ziyech, Hudson-Odoi and Pulisic steam clear of the rest but Riyad Mahrez who is truly a creative wizard.
•Onto beating his man Ziyech is a fairly accomplished dribbler as well as Pulisic. Hudson-Odoi on the other hand is arguably the second-best of the lot. However, if you do look at how Lampard wants his wingers to play it is to get in behind and not be dribbling as much.
•Looking at the gritty side of the game, Ziyech is superb. Putting in a humongous amount of defensive contribution, so too is Pulisic, however, Hudson-Odoi needs to improve. Ziyech, therefore, is bringing a relentless pressing work rate to Chelsea which Lampard wants his forwards to have.
•Unsurprisingly Ziyech is a very adventurous kind of player when it comes to shooting and doesn’t have the best choice of shots. Often shooting outside the box, and trying audacious shots. Hudson-Odoi has been poor at finishing this season and I expect him to do work to improve. Pulisic is clinical here.
•Looking at where he is shooting from Ziyech as I stated earlier is trying his luck a lot. So much so he is the worst of the group, and Pulisic is again near the top in finishing. Hudson-Odoi again needs to do work on his movement and occupation of positions on the pitch.
Ziyech is one of the best creative and pressing forces in Europe as a winger, no surprise he was termed ‘The Wizard of Amsterdam’.
To review Ziyech’s creative game, he is definitely the kind of player we needed. Coming out in the top bracket in many aspects. Ziyech and Hudson-Odoi being very impressive in this area, pulisic not so much however I expect him to flourish elsewhere.
His shooting is wasteful however we’ve lacked that long-range threat this season. He would, however, bring a vast array of creativity to Chelsea for our forwards and midfielders to feed off and score.
Callum is clearly a creative force off the flank and a superb dribbler. Thing is his defensive work and shooting MUST improve.
Pulisic is the best finisher and takes up the best positions to shoot from the three. As well as being a relentless presser, and decent creator.
Massive credit to @EoinCFCireland for the stats and photos used in this article. Go give him a follow on twitter.