Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has taken the blame for Hakim Ziyech’s lack of game time right now, admitting that he’s continuing to work hard and added he looked good in training yesterday.
Ziyech, who cost the Blues £33.3million (Sky Sports), has seen his opening season at Stamford Bridge disrupted by injuries so far.
The left-footed attacker has also featured in just two of the six games since Tuchel was appointed Blues manager.
He’s been an unused substitute in the previous three Premier League fixtures, where he’s seen teammates such as Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Timo Werner impressing in the inverted wide positions behind a central striker.
Ziyech is in theory competing with those attackers for a spot in the XI, as he looks to recapture the form that made him a star at former club Ajax.
Tuchel has spoken highly of the Morocco international ahead of Saturday’s league match away to Southampton.
“It’s my fault actually [his lack of minutes], it’s not his fault. It’s my decisions,” Tuchel said, as quoted by Chelsea’s official Youtube account.
“There are some decisions for other players that mean Hakim suffers a little bit from these decisions. It’s my responsibility and my fault that in this case that he can not show more of his potential.
“When I look at the rhythm and I look at the schedule for the next days we can be sure that we need all of our players.
“I cannot say one bad thing for Hakim. He had a good, good training session yesterday. He’s working hard, he needs to show that he’s ready. When the moment comes we expect the best Hakim Ziyech.”
The Chronicle View
With so much talent in the Chelsea ranks this campaign, it’s inevitable that big players will be named on the bench each week and plenty will be disappointed.
Ziyech has been one of the biggest casualties so far of the new manager arriving and it’s up to him to turn things around.
The 27-year-old wide player certainly has the individual ability to help decide games when he’s on the pitch, but it’s a case of him finding his way in Tuchel’s plans.