'He could be the player': Nevin thinks Tuchel might have finally found his difference-making player at Chelsea

Pat Nevin suggested that a happy Hakim Ziyech could be a game-changing player for Chelsea in the long run.

Writing for the club website, Nevin wondered if the Moroccan’s man-of-the-match display versus Tottenham Hotspur might just be a turning point in his Stamford Bridge career.

Scything down Spurs

There is little room for argument when proposing that Ziyech’s performance on Sunday was his finest in a blue jersey to date, a notion Nevin put forward himself.

Everything he pulled off, or at least attempted, had an air of assuredness and authority around it, something not associated with the attacker much recently.

Each cross or shot was delivered with purpose, as if the 28-year-old was out to make a point.

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Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images

A point to the manager? To his critics? To his teammates? Either way, he certainly made a statement.

Statements come few sweeter than a scintillating strike into the top corner, against Spurs of all sides.

The goal will live long in his memory, not to mention every fan in attendance or watching at home.

Nature paused to take a breath as the ball curved its way into the top corner, waving to Hugo Lloris as it nestled into the back of the net.

It was an effort worthy of winning a title, let alone a London derby.

Hakim hitting the heights

Although the Premier League crown might be out of reach, Nevin believed silverware could be on the horizon, if Ziyech maintains his form from the weekend.

“I was co-commentating for the website and 5th Stand app with Jason Cundy and he said in the first couple of minutes, ‘Hakim Ziyech is on fire’. I thought he was getting carried away so early but if anything, it was an understatement. Ziyech was phenomenal,” said the former Chelsea winger.

Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

“It is certainly the case that the system suited him perfectly as did the players around him.

“Any good professional can have a special game out of the blue. This however felt different, this looked like a player who finally utterly believed in himself and felt at one with Stamford Bridge.

“In fact there were moments when he looked like he owned it with that exceptional quality of passing.

“If Hakim can continue to feel at home, stay fit and the confidence remains, he could be the player that we have been crying out for to turn some of those draws into wins.”

Chelsea losing sight of City

Had Ziyech been in full-flight a couple of weeks ago, the numerous one-point results may well have transformed into three.

Sharing the spoils with Brighton & Hove Albion twice, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Everton and Burnley let Manchester City steam into a healthy lead at the top of the table.

Southampton did manage to peg back the reigning champions on Saturday, ending a run of 12 straight league victories for Pep Guardiola’s men.

Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Meanwhile, the 2-0 triumph over Tottenham was only Chelsea’s second in the top flight since Boxing Day.

The latest and welcomed win was inspired by Ziyech, who will need to channel all his creative juices for the rest of the campaign if the Blues are to pick up a trophy.

With the Carabao Cup final on the horizon, there is every chance this dream can become reality.

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.