Marco van Basten admits he’s saddened by Hakim Ziyech’s struggles at Chelsea and has accused Thomas Tuchel of treating the Moroccan badly.
Ziyech was one of a number of big-money players brought in to strengthen Frank Lampard’s squad in the summer. The former Ajax winger showed some initial promise but has struggled with injuries and form since. The same has gone for several of the other summer signings and it cost Lampard his job.
Replacement manager Tuchel has revitalised Chelsea’s campaign since taking the job in January. He has only tasted defeat twice as Blues boss and has led them to the Champions League semi-finals.
Ziyech has largely had a watching brief, though. Since his new boss came in, the Morocco international has only started five Premier League games. He has been on the winning side in just one of them.
However, he served a timely reminder of his abilities with the winning goal as Manchester City were sunk 1-0 in the FA Cup semi-finals. But just a week later, Ziyech was back on the bench as Chelsea recorded a 1-0 win at West Ham to boost their hopes of a top-four finish.
And while Ziyech was introduced as a 75th-minute substitute, Van Basten feels Ziyech is being wasted at Chelsea.
“Ziyech again on the couch. When he gets in, that’s like a striker. He can do that too, because he is just a good player. I am sad to see rotation… He’s just not in the right place,” Van Basten said on Ziggo Sport via Voetbalzone.
“That [Timo] Werner plays really badly, but doesn’t he come in much more often? The system this trainer plays is just not good for Ziyech. Then as Ziyech you have to say: ‘You know what? I have to plead.
“It is now about Ziyech because I have nothing to do with that man. This is not getting along like that. I’m not saying it’s bad for Ziyech or bad for that trainer, but it doesn’t work like that.”
More criticism for Tuchel over Ziyech
Dirk Kuyt and Khalid Boulahrouz have also questioned Tuchel over his treatment of Ziyech.
“He scored in that FA Cup match against Manchester City. Then you think: well, he’s through it,” Kuyt said.
“The next game: boom, on the bench. Then you look at Werner, who can do whatever he wants. He plays over and over. He scored against West Ham, but he could have made one more.”
Former Blues defender Boulahrouz reckons Ziyech is not appreciated by the former PSG boss.
“It doesn’t feel good: you don’t play the football you want to play in a system that doesn’t suit you,” Boulahrouz added.
“You don’t feel the appreciation of the trainer, his status under Lampard was very different from now under Tuchel.”