A Chelsea forward has provided a timely reminder of his abilities and is banking on a strong World Cup to force through a long-awaited exit, per a report.
The World Cup break came at just the wrong time for the Blues. Chelsea lost three on the spin and went win-less in five league matches prior to domestic football giving way to the international scene. Those not participating in Qatar will have six weeks to stew on that damaging run of form.
However, one player who’s conscience is clear having barely kicked a ball in that stretch is Hakim Ziyech.
The 29-year-old will play his part in Qatar for Morocco and recently provided an eye-catching reminder what he’s capable of.
In Morocco’s only warm-up match prior to the World Cup, Ziyech was on target in a commanding 3-0 victory over Georgia.
The Chelsea playmaker scored the second goal on the night and lobbed the Georgian goalkeeper from comfortably inside his own half.
Hakim Ziyech from his own half 😱😱😱
— B/R Football (@brfootball) November 17, 2022
Now, Calciomercato report Ziyech is intent on producing more eye-catching moments that could finally spark his Chelsea exit, potentially as early as January.
Ziyech fell down the pecking order under former boss Thomas Tuchel and his fate has not changed since Graham Potter’s arrival.
Ziyech has accrued a measly 270 minutes of action at club level all season. With Christopher Nkunku due to arrive next summer and AC Milan’s Rafael Leao continually linked, Ziyech’s situation is unlikely to improve.
He was regularly linked with Milan during the summer and even emerged on Ajax’s radar late on. The Dutch club identified Ziyech as the ideal replacement for Man Utd-bound Antony, though that move didn’t go through early enough to allow Ajax to swoop for Ziyech.
Strong World Cup could work in Chelsea’s favour
Regardless, Calciomercato report AC Milan remain intent on signing Ziyech who continues to be highly thought of by club chiefs Paolo Maldini and Frederic Massara.
A loan deal with an option or obligation to buy was touted last window, though obviously didn’t come to pass.
However, the report states they may yet try their hand again come January and if Ziyech impresses in Qatar, Milan may offer a more compelling package to Chelsea.
Even if Ziyech isn’t allowed to leave Stamford Bridge in January, a move in the summer of 2023 could be on the cards if Rafael Leao departs.
Either way, the writing appears to be on the wall for Ziyech’s career with the Blues. His displays in Qatar may prove a deciding factor on how quickly that exit comes.