Tottenham Hotspur have been dealt a blow in their bid to bring Hakim Ziyech to north London this summer.
That’s according to Gianluca Di Marzio, with the Italian journalist revealing in a recent article that, after Manchester United agreed a reported €100m (£84m) deal to sign 23-year-old winger Antony, Ajax are now closing in on their own deal to bring the Chelsea midfielder back to the Johan Cruijff ArenA.
This is sure to come as a gutting blow to Antonio Conte and Fabio Paratici, as the Italian duo have been reported to be extremely interested in launching their own move for the 29-year-old this summer – who is believed to be keen to secure a move away from Stamford Bridge due to a lack of game time under Thomas Tuchel.
With it being well known that Conte is hoping to add a new forward-thinking midfielder to his Tottenham squad prior to the closure of the summer transfer window later this week, it is not difficult to see why Paratici would be interested in a move for Ziyech over the remaining days of the current market.
While it is true that, following his £33m move to west London back in the summer of 2020, the Morocco international has somewhat failed to cement a regular spot in the Chelsea first team – starting just 29 Premier League fixtures over the last two years – the 29-year-old has previously shown that when given the chance to, he can make a massive impact within his side.
Indeed, over his 21 Eredivisie appearances in his final campaign with Ajax back in 2019/20, the £25.2m-rated forward was in breathtaking form, scoring six goals, registering 12 assists and creating an enormous 23 big chances for his teammates, as well as taking an average of 4.2 shots – 1.5 of which hit the target – making 3.9 key passes and completing 2.6 dribbles per game.
These metrics saw the £100k-per-week talent average a simply sensational SofaScore match rating of 8.20, not only ranking him as Erik ten Hag’s best performer in the league but also as the best player in the Dutch top flight as a whole that season.
For reference, should Ziyech have achieved these returns at Tottenham last season, he would have ranked third for goals, second for shots and shots on target and first for assists, big chances created and key passes in the league, while his average match rating would have also seen the 40-cap international rank as Spurs’ best performer in the top flight.
Furthermore, with the 29-year-old being adept at playing from left, central, right and attacking midfield, as well as on either wing and as a support striker, he would also appear to be something of a perfect fit for Conte’s tactical setup at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – allowing the Italian to switch between a 3-4-3 and his favoured 3-5-2 formation.
As such, while it is true that age isn’t exactly on the Moroccan’s side, it is nevertheless evident just how perfectly the player who Elliot Hackney labelled “unreal” would suit the 52-year-old’s requirements of a new midfielder – leading us to believe that, should Paratici manage to steal Ziyech away from Ajax’s pull in the coming days, he could well have landed Conte’s dream signing.