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Spurs: Rafael van der Vaart urges Hakim Ziyech signing

Tottenham Hotspur have been urged to move for Hakim Ziyech in the January transfer window.

What’s the talk?

Transfer Focus

Speaking to Ziggo Sport during their Champions League coverage on Wednesday (via The Express), former Spurs midfielder Rafael van der Vaart stated his belief that, were Fabio Paratici to land the Chelsea playmaker – who the Italian was linked with a move for in the summer transfer window – this winter, Antonio Conte’s side could go on to win the Premier League.

Regarding the attacking midfielder, the Dutchman said: “If Tottenham get Hakim Ziyech, they could win the Premier League. I am serious. Of course, he never really has a smiley face, but now you can see from everything that he is not having a good time.

“I hope he goes to a club where he can just play and not worry about anything else. Ziyech is a boy that always has to play when you get him. When you get players, you buy them not only for their footballing qualities but also for how someone is.”

Missing piece of the puzzle

With it being widely reported that Conte was desperate to add an attacking midfielder to his Tottenham squad in the summer – a move that ultimately failed to materialise – coupled with Spurs’ often negative approach to matches this season, it is easy to see why Van der Vaart believes Ziyech could be the final piece of the puzzle for the Italian manager.

Indeed, despite rarely featuring for Chelsea this season – starting just one fixture in all competitions – the £26m-rated talent highly impressed over his 23 Premier League outings in 2021/22, scoring four goals, registering three assists and creating nine big chances, as well as taking an average of 2.3 shots, making 1.3 key passes and completing 1.2 dribbles per game.

These returns saw the 29-year-old average an eye-catching SofaScore match rating of 7.09, ranking him as the Blues’ 12th-best performer in the top flight of English football last time out – an extremely impressive feat considering only 14 of his appearances came as starts.

Furthermore, according to FBref, the £100k-per-week attacker also ranks in the top 6% of attacking midfielders and wingers in Europe’s big five leagues for shots per 90, as well as the top 25% for assists, the top 18% for shot-creating actions, the top 11% for progressive passes and the top 13% for passes attempted over the last 365 days.

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Further still, with the player who Frank Lampard dubbed a “dream” and Elliot Hackney labelled “unreal” being able to operate in central and attacking midfield, as well as in a front three, the Morocco international would appear to suit either of Conte’s 3-5-2 or 3-4-3 systems at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

As such, considering his impressive positional versatility and creativity in the middle of the park, it would indeed appear as if Ziyech could well be the final piece of Conte’s puzzle at Spurs, and, who knows, could even be the £21m signing to transform Tottenham from top four contenders to champions this season.