Mario Melchiot: What I really think about Hakim Ziyech at Chelsea FC
Mario Melchiot delivers his verdict on Hakim Ziyech at Chelsea FC this season
Mario Melchiot believes that Hakim Ziyech has been struggling to have a major impact at Chelsea FC this season due to the fierce competition for places at the club.
Ziyech linked up with his Chelsea FC team-mates last summer after the Blues agreed a deal to bring him to Stamford Bridge from Ajax at the start of 2020.
The former Ajax star has struggled with injury issues this season and he has only started 11 of the Blues’ 29 games in the Premier League so far this term.
Ziyech, 27, has only managed to score two goals and make three assist in all competitions for the Blues so far this term.
Former Chelsea FC star Melchiot believes that Ziyech has not yet had a proper chance to prove himself in the Blues team and he is confident that he will have a big impact if given the chance.
Speaking to Stadium Astro, Melchiot said: “He doesn’t always get the opportunity. I think Frank [Lampard] understood him better, he wanted him and went after him.
“I think Ziyech is facing now what he had at the beginning at Ajax. It was kind of difficult for him to get a run going. Once he got it, he was among the top-two players in the team.
“Now in the Premier League you have many stars around you. He has to understand that.
“I think it comes down to rhythm. If you don’t play that often, when you get your opportunity you have got to grab it.
“But it can take a few games to get up to speed, so if he doesn’t get those games, it becomes really tough.
“I like him and I think he’s technically gifted, physically fit and understands the game well.
“At Ajax he would cross the ball so many times and there were players on the end of it. They need to understand [at Chelsea] what his strengths are because if he can deliver that and really master that, it could be something special, if not then it becomes tough.
“I know he won’t like it, he’s not a player who’s used to coming off the bench. He was a starting player every time at Ajax.”
Ziyech will be hoping to be involved when Chelsea FC return to Champions League action on Wednesday with the return leg of their last-16 clash against Atletico Madrid.
The Blues will then host Sheffield United in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Sunday.