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Media Watch: Ajax coach on Ziyech’s personality, Kalou linked with Brazilian club, Robben set to make comeback

In our look at the latest Chelsea-related news stories from the media, Ajax manager Eric ten Hag describes Hakim Ziyech as a ‘headstrong’ and ‘brilliant’ player and a couple of former Blues appear to have found new clubs.

These stories are samples pulled from external media sources. They do not represent the views or position of Chelsea Football Club.

Ziyech brilliant and strong character: Ajax boss

Ajax manager Eric ten Hag has said Chelsea signing Hakim Ziyech needs to be given space on the training ground in order to get the best out of him, Goal.com reports.

The Moroccan winger is set to join up with the Blues in July after an excellent spell at Ajax in which he scored 48 goals and recorded 82 assists in 165 games for the club.

However, Ten Hag warned the 27-year-old can be an enigmatic player to deal with.

‘He is a character, headstrong. But that also makes him brilliant,’ said Ten Hag to Ajax TV after Ziyech's final training session with the club last week.

‘He sees things that others don't see. Sometimes he is a trainer's nightmare, but you have to give him space.

‘If they start playing on their responsibility, you see the development. He took Ajax by the hand and we were very successful together.’


Kalou joining Brazilian club?

According to a report by Yahoo Sports, former Chelsea forward Salomon Kalou is close to agreeing a free transfer to Brazilian side Botafogo.

The Ivorian, who played for the Blues from 2006 to 2012, has spent the past six seasons at Hertha Berlin but is out of contract at the German side at the end of June.

However, the 34-year-old has reportedly been offered an 18-month contract by the Rio de Janeiro side, who also have former Japan international midfielder Keisuke Honda on their books.

‘He already has the pre-contract, but he asked for just one more detail in the contract that was sent to him,’ Botafogo official Carlos Augusto Montenegro reportedly told Brazilian media outlet SporTV.

‘I think it's okay. And if no presidential candidate for Vasco appears at his house, I think that maybe he will come.’

 

Robben set to make comeback

Former Chelsea winger Arjen Robben has announced he is returning to play for his boyhood club FC Groningen, a year after retiring from the game, the Sun reports.

The 36-year-old hung up his boots at Bayern Munich after the end of the 2018/19 season but revealed in a Twitter video he is returning to play for the Dutch club he joined at the age of 12 in order to help them out in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

‘After a wonderful adventure of 18 years, we're coming home,’ said Robben, who left the club to join PSV Eindhoven when he was 18.

‘We're coming home in this difficult time of crisis, one that also hits FC Groningen. It's great to see how everyone supporting the club, I've supported the club as well.

‘It made me think about what else I could do for our club. These past few weeks I've had many conversations with club staff and maybe more than anything I've listen to the call of our supporters.

‘A comeback as an FC Groningen player, I started to play with this idea and now I've made it my mission! I want to make my comeback as a football player, a player of FC Groningen.’

Robben goes on to say how the return to top-flight football will be a ‘tough physical challenge’ but he is adamant he will be in for the first training session for the new season.

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