Louis van Gaal has spoken about Hakim Ziyech’s development at Ajax and he believes Chelsea have had their hands on “a special player”.

The 27-year-old is expected to arrive at Stamford Bridge on July 1 following the premature end of Eredivise that denied Ziyech and Ajax the league title.

The Morocco international ended the season with six goals and 12 assists from 21 appearances in the league, and a further two goals and four assists from six appearances in the Champions League group stage.

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Van Gaal, who managed Ajax between 1991 and 1997, said Ziyech has improved significantly as a player during his stay in Amsterdam.

The former Manchester United manager told NOS: “He has developed tremendously at Ajax. Not so much in creativity, but as a team player.

“The public has come to realise that he works very hard for a creative player. And then he also scores goals and gives assists.

“That makes you a special player.”

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Despite spending €40million (£33m) to sign Ziyech, Chelsea could still bring in another attacker this summer, as Willian and Pedro are entering the final months of their respective contracts at Stamford Bridge.

Lampard has opened up about his desire to keep some of the soon-out-of-contract players as the extension deadline is closing in.

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The manager told Chelsea’s official website: “We have big players in that position so that’s obviously something I’m looking at very carefully.

“Hopefully we can have that arrangement so they can stay with us because if we play again I would love the squad to look as it’s looked all season, but we’ll have to see how that works.”

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