Thomas Tuchel has confirmed that Hakim Ziyech is going to have an opportunity to impress in Thursday’s FA Cup clash against Barnsley.
The 0-0 stalemate in Tuchel’s first game in charge was the last time Ziyech featured in a game under the new manager.
Obviously, Ziyech has been struggling with injury problems which led to Tuchel’s deciding not to include him in the matchday squad against Burnley in January.
But the winger has since returned and spent the last two games as an unused sub at Spurs and Sheffield United.
Tuchel admitted he had to make the decision, but will give Ziyech a chance to prove himself on the pitch ahead of the trip to Barnsley.
“Hopefully tomorrow we’ll see the best of him [Ziyech],” Tuchel said in his pre-match press conference on Wednesday.
“He had a good training week, we count on Hakim like we do on everybody else, there is absolutely no doubt about that.
“We took some decision [in favour of] some other players, not against him, but tomorrow he will have the chance to show the same quality and determination he shows in training.”
Tuchel added that the Morocco international clearly has to adapt to the Premier League and the type of football played there.
“But he’s adapting, and he has a certain quality that can decide matches and does the unexpected which gives you an extra twist in any game,” he added.
“We want to push him to the same level he showed at Ajax.”
In an interview to Ziggo Sport (via Metro), Ziyech opened up about his injury frustration in his first season at Stamford Bridge.
It is very unfortunate because he clearly has the vision and the ability to become the main playmaker at Chelsea.
It will be interesting to see how the Morocco international is going to adapt to the inside forward role under Tuchel, however.
In the draw with Wolves, he seemed to find it hard to make an impact from that position, although he also had just one training session under Tuchel back then.