Rafael van der Vaart has praised Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech after his match-winning performance against Tottenham at the weekend.

Ziyech, who cost the Blues £33million, scored the opener in Chelsea’s 2-0 home win against Spurs on Sunday in the Premier League.

It was the attacker’s sixth goal of the season across all competitions and definitely the pick of the bunch. He received the ball outside of the box before firing in a left-footed effort into the far top corner.

The 28-year-old’s campaign has been a bit stop-start due to the fact he can’t cement a spot in Thomas Tuchel’s best XI, but his recent displays suggest he’s growing into more of an important player at Stamford Bridge. Of course, his mini spell of form will need to continue for much longer before anyone can get too excited.

Pundit Micah Richards said Ziyech “was everywhere” in the weekend’s victory against Spurs.

In addition, ex-Spurs midfielder Van der Vaart has waxed lyrical about the winger’s contribution a couple of days ago.

“I know him well from his time at Ajax. This is such an amazing player. I’m so happy for him that he’s now [playing] the way he played in Holland. Of course, it was a bit of a pity it was against Tottenham. It was a stunning goal and one of his best games until now,” Van der Vaart told BBC Radio 5 Live.

Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League
Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images

Ziyech will pray for this Chelsea system

Surprisingly, Tuchel’s flipped the script recently by moving away from his common 3-4-3 formation.

The Blues manager has been forced into experimenting due to injuries and illnesses in his squad, so fans have seen the return of a back four in a few games lately.

A recent system deployed by Tuchel has been a 4-2-2-2 or 4-3-3 shape, something which is getting the best out of some individuals.

Ziyech definitely falls into that category.

The Moroccan left-footer appears to find it a lot more natural occupying from the right flank like a conventional winger, albeit he can swap over to the left in-game.

It feels like a defining few months in his career at the Bridge where he can kick on or slip away to the fringes

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