'Very promising': Tuchel names the Chelsea player who really impressed him in pre-season

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel wished Hakim Ziyech a speedy recovery so he could quickly return to the form he demonstrated in pre-season.

Speaking in his press conference ahead of the Blues’ Premier League tie with Arsenal, Tuchel was asked about the state of his Moroccan maestro.

In the build-up to the new campaign, Ziyech looked hungry to impress, biting into fixtures with real venom and meaning.

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He scored twice versus Tottenham Hotspur, both finishes executed with unerring accuracy.

The 28-year-old was on target again in the UEFA Super Cup final victory over Villarreal last week.

Sadly, the creative forward went from sitting on cloud nine to crashing back down to earth.

Ziyech damaged his shoulder in an inconspicuous collision, meaning his evening was ended abruptly.

Many feared he wouldn’t be seen for a few weeks whilst the wound recovered.

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However, to Chelsea fans’ delight, the former Ajax man was spotted back in training, without the strapping he wore following the injury.

Hakim’s health

Supporters of the Blues would love to see Ziyech cast his magic over Arsenal on Sunday.

Tuchel expressed a similar message, but just wanted to remind everyone the current shape of his player’s wellbeing.

“I think he was very promising in pre-season season,” said the German coach.

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“He had some very good matches last season. Also some difficult and hard decisions from me to take.

“But the pre-season was very promising and pretty impressive from him.

“The attitude he arrived here was absolutely the right attitude to grow and to show personality. This is what he did; fantastic from day one.

“He was decisive in every single friendly game we played. He was decisive in the first competitive game in the final against Villarreal.

“Very unfortunately he got injured so now we need to take care of it.

Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

“Once he gives the green light and feels totally free, hopefully he can find his performance from this season very quickly because he was very important for us.”

Of course, Chelsea won’t be overly affected if Ziyech isn’t available for the Arsenal clash.

Kai Havertz or Callum Hudson-Odoi could easily take his place, whilst Romelu Lukaku is likely to lead the line.

Although, Christian Pulisic won’t be available, as Tuchel confirmed he is isolating due to covid protocols.  

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.