Frank Lampard has revealed his excitement at being able to welcome Hakim Ziyech to Chelsea in the summer after the Blues signed the Ajax midfielder.
Chelsea have confirmed they have reached an agreement to sign the Moroccan winger in the summer, with Ziyech expected to sign a four-year contract.
The 26-year-old has already announced he is “very happy” with his next step, and now his soon-to-be manager has reciprocated those feelings.
“I think he’s a fantastic player and first came onto my eye line in their run in the Champions League last year,” Lampard told Sky Sports News. “I thought he was one of their standout players, of course – particularly in the games against Tottenham, watching him play.
“And then we’ve come up against him twice this season. I know a lot about him, I know his qualities: a great left foot, plays generally off the right-hand side, can play in behind the frontman.
“And probably when you look at us this season there have been games where we have maybe struggled to unlock the door, and he’s certainly a player that we hope can bring that bit of creativity, something different for us, scores goals, assists.
“So, excited. I know he’s not coming now but I think it’s exciting for us as a club and for the fans, they know that he’ll be here next year.”
Some eyebrows may be raised about why Chelsea waited until after the January transfer window to complete the signing of Ziyech, but Lampard confirms that he had to respect the selling club.
“We tried, and it wasn’t possible, we all know how the January window works. You respect that clubs have top players and want to keep them, and that was the case. But that’s done, and now we have him for next season, so yeah, pleased with that.”
Asked whether Ziyech would be the first of many new signings in the summer, Lampard insisted his focus was purely on the present, as the team look to book their place in next season’s Champions League.
“I don’t know. I think we have to worry first about where we’re at, and trying to come in the top four is of course the massive priority for us. My main concern is that.
“We’re always on the lookout, we’re always working together to try and see how we can improve, and I think those improvements could be needed maybe in the summer, but we’ll have to try and make sure we get the right ones.”
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