Tuchel clears the air with firm statement on exit-linked Chelsea star, amid ‘impossible’ admission

Thomas Tuchel shrugs during Newcastle vs Chelsea, October 2021

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has insisted that Hakim Ziyech and the club feel totally committed to his contract, amid transfer speculation over his future.

The winger arrived at Stamford Bridge in summer 2020 following a fantastic rise with Ajax. In fact, his key role in the side that reached the Champions League semi-finals persuaded Chelsea to sign him.

And while he has played 49 games for the Blues since then, he has never been a crucial starter. Not only has that been because of Chelsea’s plethora of attacking options, but also injury.

This term, Ziyech enjoyed a starring role in pre-season. After a shoulder injury in the UEFA Super Cup final against Villarreal, however, he has struggled for rhythm and minutes.

One pundit has claimed that the Morocco international should have signed for Tottenham instead. As for his Chelsea future, the Blues have had links with moving him on in January.

According to Tuchel, though, Ziyech remains a vital part of his plans. The Chelsea boss, who also admitted that he cannot play him all the time, told the Evening Standard: “At the moment here in Cobham there are no thoughts about his future.

“There are no thoughts about a potential change, swap deal or whatever in the winter. I have talked to nobody about that here in Cobham.

“Hakim was not in my office expressing a wish like this so right now, he is a full member of the squad.

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“He is an important guy, a very talented guy, a very ambitious guy, and he’s a full part of our squad. He was last season, he is this season and we expect the very best of him all the time.

“But it’s tough competition. I cannot let everybody play all the time 90 minutes, it’s simply impossible.”

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Ziyech has played nine matches since the Super Cup win over Villarreal, four in the Premier League.

According to Tuchel, his struggles for rhythm are easy to explain.

Tuchel explains Ziyech, Chelsea struggles

Hakim Ziyech, Chelsea winger in Champions League action against Malmo

“It’s very easy. I said many times he was brilliant in pre-season,” the manager said.

“He had an injury which was a huge setback. He played after the shoulder injury with pain and with huge protection which kept him from being totally free, which is necessary for his game and movements and position and style of play.

“Now he’s stepped up in the last games. We had some injuries and he took the chance to have more game time.

“He was decisive, he assisted, he scored. It’s good.”

Chelsea return to action after the international break having drawn with Burnley in their last match.