Proud Hakim Ziyech speaks out about Chelsea transfer
With reporting by Jamie de Geir.
Star Ajax footballer Hakim Ziyech said he is looking forward to joining Chelsea after a transfer deal between the two teams was completed. Ziyech said he feels like this is the next step in his development as a player, he said in a video released by the Amsterdam club.
It was announced on Friday that Ziyech had reached an agreement to join the English club in the summer during the next transfer window. The attacking midfielder has played in 109 matches for Ajax since 2016, scoring 38 times and assisting on another 51 goals.
“Chelsea is a very big and brilliant club. They have played very offensive football under the new trainer [Frank Lampard], with many young talented players. This was very important in making my decision,” Ziyech added.
His choice became more clear after several conversations over the phone with Lampard, where they discussed playing style, their way of working, and Chelsea as a club. "After the conversations, the good feeling only became stronger and stronger. It became clear to me very quickly that I wanted to go that direction."
Ziyech, who plays internationally for Morocco after he was passed over for the Dutch side four years ago, joins the London side at a high transfer fee of at least 40 million euros. That could rise by ten percent depending on performance. After the teams came to terms, Ziyech agreed to a five-year deal with Chelsea.
When he leaves Ajax he will become the third most expensive player sold by a Dutch club in terms of transfer fee. Ajax obtained a massive 85.5 million euros for Matthijs de Ligt when he was sent to Juventus last year. The same year, the Amsterdam club commanded a 75 million euro transfer fee from FC Barcelona when the Spanish side wanted midfielder Frenkie De Jong.
Despite the news, Ziyech said he is still firmly focused on the current season at Ajax and not on any possible farewell tour. "There are prizes to be won before I go down that road," he said.