Exclusive: Incoming Chelsea signing Hakim Ziyech backed to make even bigger impact than Riyad Mahrez in the Premier League

Alam Khan - Reporter 01:01 13/02/2020
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  • Hakim Ziyech

    Romain Saiss says Morocco marvel Hakim Ziyech will be perfect for the Premier League when he makes the move this summer.

    Chelsea last night agreed a £33.6 million fee, plus add ons, for the Ajax forward with personal terms expected to be agreed within days.

    Frank Lampard’s side wanted Ziyech last month, but Ajax were reluctant to sell in January as they chase the Eredivisie title – and will now cash in at the end of the season.

    Wolves defender Saiss, who plays in the national team alongside Ziyech, believes his compatriot and friend will flourish in the Premier League.

    He told Sport360 exclusively: “I speak sometimes with him about his future because he deserves to play at a good club, a top league and I hope for him that soon he is going to move.

    “Even if Ajax is a good club I think he can play higher and for an even bigger club.

    “The fans like a player like Hakim, skilful, exciting, and I’m surprised nobody has come for him [before].

    “It would be a good thing for him to play in the Premier League. It’s a good league for him.”

    Ziyech was a key figure in Ajax’s drive to the Champions League semi-finals last season.

    But that team has been broken up with Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie De Jong departing to Juventus and Barcelona, and both Ziyech and Donny van de Beek now set to exit.

    Saiss said the 26-year-old Ziyech has proved his quality at the top level in the Champions League, but can get even better.

    He also likened him to City’s £60m winger Riyad Mahrez who has made a massive impact in English football and developed into one of the world’s best.

    Saiss played with the Algerian for French Second Division side Le Havre before Mahrez, 28, went on to shine at Leicester, winning the Premier League title and PFA Player of the Year in 2016, before joining City two years later and lifting more trophies.

    “Of course Hakim can do more,” added Saiss, 29. “He did very well in the Champions League for a couple of years and I’m not surprised because he’s a good player. I think he can play for most of the big teams.

    “It was the same for Riyad when he was at Leicester. He needed time before he moved to City and I think it will be the same for Hakim.”