Frank Lampard is hopeful Hakim Ziyech can make a “big impact on the Premier League” and improve Chelsea’s productivity in the final third when he joins from Ajax in July.
Ziyech’s impending switch to Stamford Bridge was confirmed earlier this week, with Chelsea agreeing to pay just over £33million up front and a further £3.34m in add-ons for the 26-year-old playmaker, who will remain in Amsterdam for the remainder of this season.
In a news conference on Friday, Lampard highlighted the qualities that attracted him to Ziyech, revealing he had tracked the player closely since he starred in Ajax’s 1-0 Champions League semi-final first-leg win over Tottenham at Wembley last May.
“Since then I’ve watched him a lot,” said Chelsea’s head coach. “He ticks lots of boxes and I’m delighted that we’re in a position where we can say he’ll be our player next season.
“He’ll have to obviously fit in to the way we want to work here … and the energy we want in our team as everybody does, but the quality he’s got hopefully will be there for the fans to see.
“We’ve spoken a lot this season about games where we’ve maybe had a lot of ball but haven’t had that final bit. And I think hopefully he’s a player next season that can [provide that], with the quality he has with his crossing, passing, that final pass and shooting and scoring.
“At times we have struggled to have the finishing touch and hopefully he can be a part of that puzzle. I see a player that can hopefully have a big impact on the Premier League and our team.”
Asked for his Valentine’s Day plans, Lampard says he’ll be watching Wolves v Leicester with a takeaway, and then Love Island afterwards! #CHEMUN
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) February 14, 2020
Ziyech’s scheduled arrival has seemingly reduced the chances of both Willian and Pedro remaining at Stamford Bridge next season.
However, Lampard insists the deal does not affect the respective futures of his experienced wingers, adding: “No, it doesn’t. Those conversations are ongoing with both players.
“They’ve both been [here] in successful periods for this club. Both I’ve found to be very professional and willing and wanting to work this year and help the younger players and obviously get results, which is the main thing.
“Regardless [of what happens next], what they’ve done at this club is very well received from our end.
“We’ve brought in a quality player who can play in various positions so it certainly doesn’t have a one-on-one effect on any player.”