After nearly two weeks of waiting and staring at their screens for confirmation, Chelsea fans from all around the globe woke up on Sunday with some of the best news they’ve received all year. They all learned that Ajax superstar Hakim Ziyech had finally agreed to a 5-year contract that will see him leave the Dutch giant for the blue side of London. In return, Chelsea will send 40 million euros to Ajax for his services, making him the 8th most expensive arrival in the club’s history.
Now while this is all well and good, the mass celebration will be delayed as this move for the Moroccan attacking midfielder will not officially take place until the summer, as per UEFA rules. But at the very least, this move should help the mammoth Chelsea fanbase weather what has been up until this point an inconsistent season up until now.
As of writing this Sunday, “Super” Frank Lampard’s boys currently rest 4th in the Premier League with a somewhat pedestrian 13-9-5 record and sport a pathetic +8 goal differential. And yet while this would still be good for a Champions League spot if this was the end of the season, Chelsea are only up on 5th place Manchester United by 3 points and are in the midst of a horrific stretch that’s been going on for nearly 3 months. They haven’t strung together two consecutive victories since November 9th.
On the continental side, the lads from Stamford Bridge just barely survived a difficult group and are currently preparing for a round of 16 date with Bayern Munich on Tuesday.
As for Ziyech, he’s been one of Europe’s hottest potential transfer acquisitions after being one of the leaders for Ajax during their inconceivable run to the semifinals of the Champions League last year.
Along with teammates Matthijs de Ligt, Frenkie de Jong, David Neres, and Dusan Tadic, Ziyech was included on to the UCL’s squad of the year along with guys like Virgil van Dijk, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Leo Messi after somehow eliminating both Real Madrid and Juventus on their road to a thrilling semifinal loss to Tottenham. And similar to the aforementioned de Ligt and de Jong, he will now be gone from the club he helped lift to new heights less than 12 months later.
Speaking to the press earlier today, Ziyech said of his new deal that he’s “delighted and proud to have signed for such a huge club as Chelsea.” He added that he is “looking forward to next season and hope we can achieve great things together.”
Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia added her own stamp of approval for the soon-to-be Blue, saying, “We are delighted Hakim will be joining us in the summer, having been a key target of the club’s in this last window. He has consistently been one of the most dangerous attacking players in Europe in recent years, which we saw first hand in our two games against Ajax in the Champions League.”
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Featured Photo Credit – 90min.com