Hakim Ziyech can handle Premier League physicality at Chelsea claim his former coaches

Marilyn Dubinski Chelsea FC

Hakim Ziyech will quickly settle in the Premier League with Chelsea according to former coaches who worked with the winger earlier in his career.

Ajax confirmed in February that Ziyech would be heading to Stamford Bridge this summer in a move worth £37million.

Following the sales at the end of last season of Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt, Ziyech is the latest star to leave the Ajax side that lit up last season’s Champions League by dumping out holders Real Madrid and Juventus before they were edged out by Tottenham Hotspur in the semi-finals.

The highly rated Hakim Ziyech will move to Chelsea from Ajax for £37million this summer

The highly rated Hakim Ziyech will move to Chelsea from Ajax for £37million this summer

The highly rated Hakim Ziyech will move to Chelsea from Ajax for £37million this summer

However critics of the 27-year-old have questioned whether his slight frame can match the physical demands offered by the Premier League.

But former coaches Boudewijn Pahlpatz and Hans de Jong are convinced he will go on to shine in England’s top flight.

‘He has played in the Eredivisie for seven or eight years now and knows all about Holland,’ Pahlpatz, who coached Ziyech while at Twente, told Sky Sports.

Ziyech spent two years at Twente before moving to Ajax in 2016

Ziyech spent two years at Twente before moving to Ajax in 2016

He had started his career at another Dutch side Heerenveen after coming through their acadmey

He had started his career at another Dutch side Heerenveen after coming through their acadmey

Despite his slight frame, coaches from Ziyech’s former clubs at Twente (left) and Heerenveen (right) have backed him to overcome physicality concerns and succeed in the Premier League

‘The step to the Premier League will do him good. He will be playing with the best players every day and that is a new challenge for him. I think he will do well there.

‘He will have to get used to the amount of games and the physical side but in the end he will succeed, for sure.’

De Jong, who coached Ziyech while at Heerenveen’s Under 17 side, added: ‘They are still saying that he has a problem with his physicality.

Ziyech has already competed against Chelsea in the Champions League this term and has been tipped by his former coaches to prove doubters wrong again over his physical build

Ziyech has already competed against Chelsea in the Champions League this term and has been tipped by his former coaches to prove doubters wrong again over his physical build

Ziyech has already competed against Chelsea in the Champions League this term and has been tipped by his former coaches to prove doubters wrong again over his physical build

‘That is what everybody is saying right now but they were saying the same when he came from the academy at Heerenveen. They said the same when he went to Twente – problem with his physicality. Same thing at Ajax. So I don’t think it’s a problem.

‘I have absolutely no doubts. He is going to beat the next challenge.’  

Ziyech has continued to be a creative spark for Ajax this term, assisting 21 goals in just 35 games while also netting eight times. 

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