Former Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole says he would love to have benefitted from winger Hakim Ziyech’s “wand” of a left foot.
Ziyech played a starring role in the Blues’ 4-1 win over Sheffield United on Saturday, claiming two assists.
Indeed, after a limited role in his first three games since returning from injury, the Moroccan has continued to impress. His two contributions against the Blades added to his goals against Burnley and Krasnodar.
Cole was a Sky Sports pundit during the game and could not hide his admiration for the summer recruit.
“When Ziyech gets the ball on his left foot it begs for runs, he’s such a talented boy,” the 39-year-old said (via the Daily Mail).
“If I was playing with him I’d always be looking to get in behind. I would love to play with someone with that quality. I had the pleasure to play with (Frank) Lampard who used to find me in behind.
“But as soon as Ziyech opens up and gets it out on that cultured left foot, I’m making runs behind because he’s got a wand of a left foot.”
Ziyech’s upturn in form has coincided with his improving fitness. Indeed, he only played 80 minutes in his first three games against Southampton, Sevilla and Manchester United.
However, he has since played 72 minutes against Burnley, 74 against Rennes and the full 90 minutes against the Blades.
The 27-year-old’s first assist on Saturday set up Ben Chilwell’s goal. The England left-back benefitted when Ziyech’s cross reached him at the far post.
In the second half, meanwhile, his cross allowed Thiago Silva to head past Blades goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.
Lampard raves about Ziyech
Meanwhile, Chelsea boss Lampard also revealed his admiration for his new recruit.
Indeed, Lampard admitted that the summer signing seems even more impressive since the pair began working together.
The manager pointed to Ziyech’s recent long absence – and his return from it – as a reason to get excited about his potential.