Hakim Ziyech’s former teammate at Heerenveen, Jukka Raitala, said Chelsea’s new signing has what it takes to be a captain.
The 27-year-old is expected to arrive at Stamford Bridge soon, as he has officially played his last game for Ajax following the Eredivisie’s decision to end their season early.
He is a creative, quick, elusive attacker who likes to take on defenders, but his former teammate Raitala believes Ziyech also has the qualities of a leader.
The Columbus Crew SC player told Football London: “He has the characteristics to be a captain.
“He is a leader. If things are not going well, he tries to lead and show what he’s got and to make the team better. I was not surprised [to see him made captain].
“You have to win his trust. If you are an honest guy with him, he will give you all of him.
“And he wants to tell you the truth, especially with the media. If you fly straight with him, you will see that he’s a very nice guy.”
At first glance it would be hard to imagine Ziyech, who is a notorious prankster in the dressing room, as a leader.
But the Morocco international has had a stint as a captain when he was at Twente, albeit briefly.
Ziyech was named Twente’s captain at the start of 2015/16 season but the club stripped him of his armband after his infamous media rant.
He criticised pretty much every aspect of the club and even stated his desire to leave following the sacking of Alfred Schreuder, and Twente, unsurprisingly, decided to appoint another captain (Football Oranje).