Chelsea boss Frank Lampard says the Hakim Ziyech he knows now is “even more” impressive than the one he knew before the winger arrived at Stamford Bridge.
Ziyech has scored two goals and assisted two others in his last four games, coinciding with his build-up of fitness.
Indeed, his latest goal contributions – the two assists – helped Chelsea thump Sheffield United 4-1.
Speaking after Saturday’s game, Lampard admitted that the Morocco international has done exceedingly well to hit the ground running with his new club.
What’s more, Lampard feels more impressed after the winger’s recent struggles with game time and injury.
Asked to confirm the “unbelievable” craft of Ziyech’s left foot, the coach smiled and said: “Yeah… we played against him in the Champions League last year, I knew the player from the year before. He’s a top player, a top-class player.
“Sometimes it’s great to see that from afar, but when you work with someone they impress you even more with their personality around the place and their quality on the pitch.
“He had a long time out of football. The Dutch league finished a long, long time ago and then he had an injury. So to come in in the way he has and to be delivering the way he is is a great sign.
“He’s been a huge plus for us and will continue to be so.”
Despite that early setback, the Blues had four different goalscorers who helped Lampard’s men claim victory.
Chelsea’s reaction spot on
The manager said of the game: “Sheffield United are a really strong team. They are really good at putting you under pressure. We didn’t deal with it brilliantly but the reaction from the team for the rest of the game was spot on.
“It’s something we have to get consistently better at. Everybody expected it to come on day one of the season but it doesn’t.
“We saw a lot of it today against a difficult team. Great signs so let’s keep going.”
Chelsea’s next game sees them face Newcastle after the international break.