In the summer of 2020, the football world congratulated Chelsea FC. Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Ben Chilwell – a number of highly talented and extremely sought-after footballers found their way to Stamford Bridge. The international specialist audience was full of anticipation and expectations, not least because of the fourth member of the league, which many acknowledged as having the potential to become a king transfer: Hakim Ziyech.
The street footballer, who was kicked off by Ajax for around 40 million euros and who had worked his way up to a professional despite adverse circumstances and his sometimes difficult character, came to London with a lot of advance praise. In Amsterdam he had made a name for himself as a high-end technician and was considered to be largely responsible for the playful upswing that catapulted the Dutch record champions to the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2019. The Moroccan was also on the list at Bayern, Chelsea later won the bid.
A year and a half after Ziyech’s move to the blues, the euphoria has evaporated. Contrary to expectations, the now 28-year-old was unable to really assert himself either in the center or on the wing. Last season he scored just two goals and three assists in 23 Premier League appearances, and the Moroccan contributed two goals to winning the Champions League. Ziyech shuttled between the starting eleven and the bench, seven of his ten CL appearances were as substitutes.
Chelsea: Ziyech to Barcelona or BVB? The rumor mill is simmering
Everything should get better for the current season. Ziyech became the best Chelsea player in the pre-season and scored against Villareal in the Super Cup (6-5 win on penalties). In exactly this match, however, the next blow to the neck followed: The noble technician suffered a shoulder injury that threw him back again. Across all competitions, Ziyech has only made five appearances in the league so far, competitors such as Havertz, Mount or Hudson-Odoi have long outstripped him or are also threatening to overtake him.
Shortly before the winter transfer window opens, the rumor mill is seething. Ziyech’s potential is undisputed, his qualities could undoubtedly enrich any top team. The most frequently mentioned interested parties are FC Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund. If you believe the rumors, then both a fixed commitment and a loan deal would be conceivable – either directly in winter or in the coming summer.
Several English media reports that FC Barcelona is already working on signing the Moroccan. Ziyech himself should not be averse to this option, allegedly he could imagine moving to Camp Nou. This rumor contradicts the austerity policy of the heavily indebted Catalans. As mentioned, Chelsea paid around 40 million euros for the 28-year-old and will hardly want to accept a major loss. In the case of a loan, Ziyech would probably continue to collect a salary that is adapted to the high PL standard.
Tuchel: Rumors about Ziyech an “invention of the media”
According to information from GOAL and SPOX Barcelona have no interest in signing Ziyech, as they simply cannot afford players of his caliber at the moment. Even more: The Spanish league would not even let the transfer go through, as Barcelona would break the upper salary limit with it.
Does that clear the way for BVB? According to the Spanish Sport and the Picture newspaper the black and yellow are very interested in the left foot, there are supposedly even concrete negotiations. It should be more about a loan deal, but a firm commitment does not seem to be ruled out either.
Chelsea’s head coach Thomas Tuchel himself put a stop to these rumors on Sunday: “At the moment we are not worrying about his future. There are no thoughts of a possible change, a player swap or anything else.” The former BVB coach dubbed the speculation as an “invention of the media”.
Chelsea: Ziyech instead of BVB to Bayern?
Statements that are not part of a poker game, but based on information from GOAL and SPOX are absolutely true. A loan in winter is by no means an option for the Blues and only an extraordinarily high offer – which the Dortmunders would probably not be able to make financially – could lead the club to think twice. On the one hand, Tuchel is very satisfied with his squad, he even feels that it is too small. On the other hand, the German coach wants to rely more on Ziyech in the future and help him to exploit his enormous potential at Chelsea. A loan request from AC Milan in the summer was blocked accordingly quickly.
According to information from GOAL and SPOX In addition, in the context of the blues nothing can be heard of any BVB interest in Ziyech. The same applies to FC Bayern, which, as mentioned, was said to be interested in the player before the Moroccan moved to London. Too old, too susceptible to injury – these are points that rule out advertising for those responsible for FCB.
So this winter there won’t be the big transfer saga about Ziyech. The noble technician will rather stay with Chelsea and start the next attempt there to get his enormous potential on the London lawn. Whether he succeeds or not is irrelevant for a player of his caliber in one point: In the summer there will be new speculations about a possible change either way.