Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel insisted he will never lose faith in Hakim Ziyech despite admitting having concerns over the effects of the winger’s previous shoulder injury.
So far this season, the 28-year-old has only had one start in the Premier League — five in all competitions, including his goalscoring performance in the Super Cup back in August.
Having yet to play any minute in October, Ziyech’s path back to the starting line-up initially looked unlikely before Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner’s injuries in Wednesday night’s win over Malmo.
Tuchel has ruled the duo, alongside Christian Pulisic, out of Saturday’s clash with Norwich City, and Ziyech becomes one of the four obvious options for the three attacking spots.
However, Tuchel, who previously openly criticised Ziyech’s poor form, also indicated that the former Ajax ace has not fully recovered from the serious shoulder injury he picked up two months ago.
Ziyech still suffers from shoulder injury, says Tuchel
“He was in the team at the beginning of the season, because of his performance,” the German said about Ziyech in his Friday press conference.
“Then he scored and had the injury in the Super Cup game. From there, I think that [the injury] cost him a lot.
“Because maybe until today, I don’t feel that he’s 100 percent free with his shoulders.
“We started him several times after that, I felt that maybe even when there was no pain, subconsciously, there was something that limited him in his movements and freedom to turn and accelerate.
“He needs time and patience to fight his way back into the team.
“He’s one of our players, and we will never lose the trust and the patience with him. He’ll stay an important player, I’m sure.”
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