Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech said he does not mind playing alongside a false nine like Kai Havertz but insisted that the role itself does not suit him.
Playing a central forward who often drops deeper — a false nine — seems to be Thomas Tuchel’s preferred tactical choice recently.
Havertz has played the role a lot recently, including in the past two games.
At times, even Mason Mount, Christian Pulisic and Callum Hudson-Odoi have played in that role briefly during games.
Some of these attackers obviously had to adapt to the new system, but not Ziyech.
“For me, it’s not really a problem because I’m used to playing in a way that we’re always running behind each other and not staying in one position,” he told talkSPORT about playing alongside a false nine.
“With a real striker like Tammy [Abraham] or Oli [Giroud], it’s also good because you can play combination football with them and they can hold the balls for you.
“So in both ways, for me personally it doesn’t matter, I like to play in both kinds of systems.”
While he does not mind playing alongside a false nine, the Morocco international does not seem interested in playing as one.
“No, not really, nah. Not for me,” he added when asked about being a false nine.
It is not a surprise that Ziyech, who is more of a playmaker than a forward, would prefer not being the furthest player forward in the team.
But he also made an interesting point about the advantage of having a big No.9 like Abraham and Giroud to hold the ball for the rest of the team.
Havertz, who stands at 6ft2 tall, obviously has the height to compete for aerial duels against centre-backs, but arguably is not as comfortable playing with his back to goal compared to Giroud or Tammy.
The Germany international has been able to compensate for it with his excellent positioning and footwork, however.
And at the moment, Tuchel seems to prefer having that over physical presence in the box.