Frank Leboeuf has warned that Hakim Ziyech could look to leave Chelsea in the summer if things remain the same for him at Stamford Bridge.
Ziyech, 27, has had a frustrating first season with the Blues that has been disrupted by injuries.
The £100,000-a-week attacker has scored two goals and set up five assists in 23 games across all competitions.
Ex-Chelsea defender Leboeuf is fearful that the right-winger may head for the exit doors if his fortunes don’t turn around and suggests manager Thomas Tuchel needs to play him more.
Ziyech started in the 0-0 draw at the weekend with Manchester United, but that was only his second league start since Tuchel took charge of the London club.
“I have to admit it’s been hard for him to be in the first XI and to do well,” Leboeuf told ESPN.
“The last game he played in the middle of the park being too central, and I think the best area that he plays is on the right side like [Riyad] Mahrez for Manchester City. They are both the same type of player, it’s where they do the best.
“Hopefully, things are going to change, and if he’s good enough, he’s going to stay. Of course, if he doesn’t play, he’s not going to be happy, and he’s going to be wanting to leave.”
The Chronicle View:
Ziyech is only in his first season with Chelsea, which is why it would be a massive disappointment if he was to leave after just a year.
The left-footed wide player proved at former club Ajax that he’s got enormous ability, but he’s only shown supporters a glimpse of it and hasn’t been the effective playmaker that most expected.
It’s also worth noting that Corriere dello Sport recently claimed that Ziyech wants a meeting with club director Marina Granovskaia about his situation, with suggestions that he could look for an exit.
The report added that Italian clubs Roma and AC Milan could be interested if he becomes available in the summer.