Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has expressed his disappointment at Hakim Ziyech’s form since the start of the season, but he is adamant that the Moroccan is still an “important player” for the Blues.
The winger picked up a shoulder injury in the UEFA Super Cup final win against Villarreal back in August, amd Tuchel says the player hasn’t been the same since his return to fitness:
“At the start of the season, he clearly showed why he deserved a place on the field. But since his shoulder injury, I felt it was taking a lot of effort for him to fight back into the team. Although he has already recovered and he is in no pain, it feels to me as if, unconsciously or subconsciously, he cannot play freely. There is something that limits his freedom to move, accelerate and temporise freely. I think he needs time to fight back into the team. That’s how it is. During his absence, his replacements performed excellently. But he is one of us and we will never give up trust in him and patience with him. He remains an important player.”
Ziyech only got 20 minutes off the bench in the 7-0 win over Norwich City at the weekend, and considering that both Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner were injured, it demonstrates how far down the pecking order the 28-year-old is at the moment.
Speculation in the summer linked him with a move to AC Milan but it appears that Tuchel is still very happy to have him around the squad. He could get another chance to impress when the Blues take on Southampton in the Carabao Cup tomorrow night.