Leeds United have been handed a huge boost in their bid to bring Hakim Ziyech to Elland Road in the summer transfer window.
That’s according to a report by the Daily Mail, who claim that Chelsea would be willing to let the attacking midfielder leave Stamford Bridge for as little as £8.4m this summer – just two years after the Blues paid Ajax £33m to bring the Morocco international to the Premier League in July 2020.
This news could open the door for Victor Orta to make a move for the 29-year-old, with CBS journalist Ben Jacobs revealing in June that sources close to Jesse Marsch’s club had informed him that the Whites’ director of football viewed the forward as a viable target in the summer transfer window.
With recent reports suggesting that AC Milan look to finally be closing in on a deal for Charles De Ketelaere – for whom Orta had also made an offer of €37.5m (£31.8m) this summer – considering that Ziyech was reported to be the Serie A champions’ alternative in the event that they failed to land the Belgium international, a Leeds move for the Moroccan would appear to make a great deal of sense.
It is true that the 29-year-old has largely failed to hold down a spot in the Chelsea XI ever since his arrival at the club – starting just 29 Premier League games over the last two seasons – but should Marsch believe that he can help Ziyech rediscover his Ajax form upon a move to LS11, the midfielder could very quickly prove to be one of the bargains of the summer.
Indeed, over his 21 Eredivisie appearances in his final campaign in the Netherlands in 2019/20, the £25.2m-rated talent was in devastating form for Erik ten Hag’s side. He scored six goals, registered 12 assists and created an extraordinary 23 big chances for his teammates, along with taking 4.2 shots, making 3.9 key passes and completing 2.6 dribbles per game.
These returns saw the £100k-per-week attacker – who Frank Lampard dubbed an “absolute dream” and Elliot Hackney labelled “unreal” – average a simply breathtaking SofaScore match rating of 8.20, ranking him by far and away as the best player in the Dutch top flight that season.
As such, should Ziyech indeed be able to rediscover this level of attacking output following a potential move to Elland Road ahead of the 2022/23 campaign, not only would the 29-year-old represent a dream alternative to De Ketelaere, but he could also prove to be one of the signings of the summer.