Thomas Tuchel insists ‘brilliant’ Chelsea FC attacker is not leaving

Thomas Tuchel insists that he has no plans to let Hakim Ziyech leave Chelsea FC in the January transfer window

Hakim Ziyech
Hakim Ziyech (Photo: Chelsea TV)

Thomas Tuchel has insisted that Hakim Ziyech remains firmly in his plans despite speculation linking him with a transfer away from Chelsea FC.

The Morocco international has struggled to hold down a regular spot in the Chelsea FC team this season and had been limited to just two starts in the Premier League heading into this weekend’s round of fixtures.

Ziyech’s absence has mainly been down to injury trouble and the 28-year-old will now be hoping to hold down a more regular spot in the first-team at Stamford Bridge.

Recent reports in the British media have also cast some doubt over Ziyech’s situation at Stamford Bridge, with some suggesting that he could be set to leave the club in January.

However, Tuchel has moved to play down talk of a move away from the south west London side for the former Ajax star, insisting that the playmaker remains firmly in his plans.

Speaking at his pre-match news conference before Chelsea FC’s trip to Leicester City on Saturday, Tuchel said of Ziyech: “I said many times, he was brilliant in pre-season.

“He had a major injury which was a huge setback. He played after his shoulder injury with pain and huge protection that kept him from being totally free which is necessary for his game, his movement and mobility, and his position and style of play.

“So now he stepped up in the last games, we had some injuries, he took the chance to have more game time, like Callum [Hudson-Odoi] did and he was decisive. He assisted and scored. It’s good.”

Pressed about suggestions that Ziyech could be seeking a move in January, Tuchel replied: “In the moment, here in Cobham there an no thoughts about his future or a potential change, a swap deal or whatever in winter, I have talked to nobody about it here in Cobham.

“Hakim was not in my office to express a wish like this. Right now, he is an important guy. He is very talented, very ambitious and he is a full part of the squad.

“He was last season and is this season. We expect the very best of him all the time, but it is tough competition. I cannot let everybody play all the time for 90 minutes. It is simply not possible.”

After Tuchel’s comments on Friday, Ziyech came off the bench and notched up an assist in Chelsea FC’s 3-0 win over Leicester City in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.

Ziyech scored two goals and made three assists in 23 Premier League games for Chelsea FC last season as they finished in fourth place in the table.

He also scored two times in 10 Champions League games as the Blues won the European trophy for the second time in their history.

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