22

Hakim Ziyech

BIOGRAPHY

Hakim Ziyech completed his move to Chelsea from Ajax in July 2020, becoming eligible to represent the club from the start of the 2020/21 season. He had previously agreed to join the club on a five-year contract in February, making him the club’s first Moroccan international.

The predominantly left-footed attacking midfielder caught the eye with his performances cutting in from the right wing at Ajax, but can also operate as a more traditional winger on the left or through the middle behind a striker.

Born in the Netherlands, Ziyech started his career in the Eredivise with Heerenveen, making his senior debut in August 2012 and breaking into the first team on a regular basis the following season.

It was after his move to Twente in 2014 that his potential as a world-class talent became apparent, posting impressive figures during his two years with the club. He scored 15 goals and made 17 assists in his first campaign, before going even further with 17 league goals in his second.

That prompted Ajax to take Ziyech to Amsterdam and he helped a blossoming young side reach the Europa League final in his first season there. He also played an important part in Ajax’s success in the following season, when they made it all the way to the Champions League semi-finals, scoring his first goals in the competition as they beat Real Madrid in the last eight. 2018/19 also brought the first silverware of Ziyech’s career, as the Amsterdam side won the Dutch league and cup double.

With several players leaving after that success, Ziyech’s last season with Ajax was arguably his biggest, as he became one of the Eredivisie champions’ key players. Chelsea fans got to see his talents up close in 2019/20 too, when we faced the Dutch side in the Champions League group stage, when Ziyech set up three of their goals in a 4-4 draw at Stamford Bridge.