Premier League icon Rio Ferdinand said he sees similarities between Chelsea new signing Hakim Ziyech with Manchester City star Riyad Mahrez.
The 27-year-old joined the Blues from Ajax after an outstanding season in which he recorded eight goals and 16 assists in all competitions despite the Eredivisie’s premature end because of the coronavirus pandemic.
But it was last season’s Champions League campaign with Ajax that propelled Ziyech’s popularity.
His three goals and three assists helped Ajax reached the semifinal where they were knocked out by Tottenham Hotspur by away goals.
Former Manchester United defender turned pundit Ferdinand has hailed the Morroco international and compared him with Manchester City’s Mahrez.
He told BT Sport (via Goal): “We watched Ziyech last season for Ajax, he was magnificent.
“He reminds me a little bit of [Riyad] Mahrez but he crosses the ball a little bit more.
“He’s someone who’s really always trying to find a way to unlock defences with his delivery. [He has] a lot of guile.”
Both Ziyech and Mahrez predominantly occupy the right flank and are left-footed, so you would understand why there would be some similarities.
However, while Mahrez usually cuts in for a chance to shoot — similar to Arjen Robben, Ziyech often uses the opportunities to cross the ball, usually to the far post, as Ferdinand pointed out.
Ziyech’s presence could really help vary Chelsea’s attacking patterns next season, considering they lacked a left-footed winger this season with Christian Pulisic, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Pedro and Willian all right-footed.