As one of the few completed deals ahead of the summer transfer window, Hakim Ziyech to Chelsea remains a topic of interest back in Holland.
The Ajax star agreed to move to Stamford Bridge at the end of the season, earning his club a juicy €40m in doing so, and with the Eredivisie now over, he can start getting ready for the Premier League.
In a a farewell video, Aston Villa forward Anwar El Ghazi joked Ziyech would need to hit the gym to keep up with the ‘beasts’ in the Premier League, which earned him some criticism.
Fast forward to this weekend, and the winger used a chat with Bureau Sport to clarify what he meant.
He said, relayed by Voetbal Primeur: “It was a joke anyway. Ziyech has his qualities and he shouldn’t have to be physical. He’s agile and can move well, because he’s so thin. Going to the gym doesn’t mean going to Basic Fit to become a powerhouse.
“You can also work your core, train your abs, pull ups. It doesn’t make you a bodybuilder. Being in the gym doesn’t just mean pumping and pumping”.
However, El Ghazi was quick to maintain his stance in that playing in the Premier League is a lot tougher due to its intensity, and there’s no room to relax when it comes to fitness.
He gave the new Blues player a heads up: “You have to think about your muscles with so many games. I thought I was big and heavy, but sometimes you run into player and you think: is that a wall? But Ziyech is going to do well at Chelsea, 100%.”
A lot of confidence from El Ghazi, who spent a year with Ziyech at Ajax before heading to Lille in a deal that paved the way for his move to Aston Villa.
Ziyech, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, had scored eight goals and assisted another 21 in 35 appearances this season.