Hakim Ziyech is in a situation where he is not a key player under Thomas Tuchel, but Chelsea are not willing to let him go for cheap either, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.
The 28-year-old made still had 39 appearances in all competitions for Chelsea last season. Not bad, obviously, considering he had a few injury spells as well.
But only 19 of those were as a starter, and only 10 since Tuchel took over in January.
He certainly spent more time on the bench than he would have expected. To put it into perspective, at Ajax, he was always on the team sheet when fit.
The introduction of Tuchel’s 3-4-3 system played a big part in Ziyech’s struggle for minutes.
He had cemented his spot as the first-choice right winger in Frank Lampard’s 4-3-3 — or occasionally, 4-2-3-1 — before losing his spot under Tuchel, largely due to more competition for two attacking spots in the new manager’s system.
Ziyech is still widely regarded as one of the best playmaker in the squad, but his lack of output has not helped his case. He failed to register any assist — exactly zero — under Tuchel, despite scoring a couple of important goals.
That’s about four months. A shocking record for a player of his calibre.
La Gazzetta dello Sport now claims that Tuchel does not consider him a key piece for his plans next season.
AC Milan consider Ziyech priority target
The report also added that AC Milan are ready to offer the Morocco international a more prominent role in their team. They even reportedly consider him their priority attacking midfield target.
As has often been the case with Italian clubs recently, however, Milan do not have a lot of money to spend. They are reportedly thinking of a loan deal with an option to buy — which Chelsea are not open to.
Chelsea signed Ziyech for a reported £33.3m transfer fee last summer, although the agreement was reached a few months earlier.