Alan Hudson told Caught Offside that Hakim Ziyech must start showing his worth to Chelsea when he’s fully fit.
It has been a bumpy ride for the Moroccan since his £33.3m (Sky Sports) move from Ajax last year.
Having lit up the Eredivisie and Champions League with the Dutch giants, plenty was expected from Ziyech when he arrived at Stamford Bridge.
Unfortunately, it’s been more fizzle than bang in a Blues jersey for the 27-year-old.
He’s only managed two goals and four assists in 21 appearances this term.
Thomas Tuchel hasn’t yet found a spot for Ziyech in his starting line, which will concern a player of his quality.
Ziyech has had to overcome two separate injuries, one to his knee and hip, that’s disrupted his rhythm at Chelsea.
Hudson didn’t hold back on his assessment of the summer signing but managed to take his physical struggles into consideration.
“He might have thought he would get away with taking it easy under Frank (Lampard), but this manager will not allow it,” admitted the Blues icon.
“We cannot be too critical because as someone who went through hell with that chronic ankle injury, he could be suffering.
“If he’s not injured there’s absolutely no excuse. He looked magnificent against Chelsea for Ajax, but we have not seen that player in a blue shirt.”
One of the reasons Chelsea brought Ziyech to Stamford Bridge was because of his performances in Europe for Ajax.
His involvement in their epic run to the Champions League semi-finals in 2018/19 put him and several of his teammates onto the footballing map.
It’s clear Ziyech comes alive on the biggest domestic stage.
Although he only played 15 minutes against Atletico Madrid, his passing was crispier, his decision making more in tune.
Hopefully Chelsea can continue their run in the competition and get the most out of their magic midfielder.
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I think with Ziyech, and several other members of this squad, he just needs someone to press the restart button.
Another full-campaign, without changing managers, would do him the world of good.
I have every faith he will come good soon, we just need patience.