Hakim Ziyech has told Chelsea fans they can expect more from him after explaining why he has struggled to adapt to English football so far.
Ziyech joined Chelsea from Ajax in the summer, after being one of the Eredivisie’s best players over the past few years.
However, his talents have not translated across to the Premier League as smoothly as expected. Ziyech has scored only once in the English top flight from 11 appearances – although he has added three assists.
Injuries have restricted him to just eight starts in the league so far. Indeed, the Moroccan blames those issues for his struggles this season – although he admits there have been other factors.
“It has been a difficult first six months for me at Chelsea,” he told Ziggo Sport.
“I began with an injury, came back and then got injured again. Things have not gone as I had hoped.
“The pace of the game over here is much quicker than it was at Ajax. I picked that up straight away, and then I got injured in my first training game.
“That sets you back completely and then it happens again. It was bloody annoying.
Lampard: Quality Ziyech will get better
Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard believes summer signing Hakim Ziyech 'will get better' after he scored his first Chelsea goal in their 4-0 Champions League away win at Russian side Krasnodar.
“I am used to having my friends, and my mum, around me. Being without them has taken some getting used to, and of course the lockdown has made matters worse.
“On top of that I’ve had to learn how to drive on the other side of the road. I’ve not had any accidents, but it was very difficult at the start.”
Ziyech sends message to Tuchel
Ziyech has only featured once so far under new head coach Thomas Tuchel.
The 27-year-old admitted that Chelsea’s results were enough to get Frank Lampard sacked, but is looking forward to adapting to Tuchel’s demands.
“You know what can happen if results aren’t good enough. It’s not the first time I’ve seen a manager sacked,” he said.
“We’ll have to see what type of system he [Tuchel] favours.
“I don’t mind whether I play on the right wing or in the middle, just so long as I can play. For me that is the main thing.
“I always have faith in myself. I know what I can do, and I won’t put pressure on myself.
“The best of Hakim Ziyech is yet to come.”