Premier League

Graham Potter urges Hakim Ziyech to be patient amid uncertain Chelsea future

Cameron Smith
Hakim Ziyech, Marokko, 2022

Hakim Ziyech has been told to “be patient” by Graham Potter upon his return to Chelsea from the World Cup in Qatar.

Ziyech, 29, played a key role in Morocco’s success at the tournament, as they became the first African nation to ever reach a World Cup semi-final, but he’s struggled for game time since Potter arrived at Stamford Bridge.

The former Ajax man is yet to start a league game during Potter’s time in charge and has racked up just 32 Premier League minutes since September.

READ: Why Ziyech has flopped for Chelsea but starred at World Cup

Despite being praised by his manager for his form in Qatar, Ziyech won’t be handed a free pass straight into the Chelsea starting XI by Potter.

What has Potter said?

Speaking to the press ahead of the Blues’ clash against Bournemouth on December 27, Potter said: “He’s been a little bit away from the first XI but he’s been involved in the games.

“He came on in the first game as a sub. We know his qualities, we like him as a player, he plays in between the lines, has fantastic qualities which we saw at the World Cup.

Hakim Ziyech has struggled for game time at Chelsea this season

Hakim Ziyech has struggled for game time at Chelsea this season

“We can speak a lot but the chances are there are always good players who aren’t in the starting XI you have to be patient.”

READ: Hakim Ziyech’s future at Chelsea: The latest

Potter was then questioned about Ziyech’s performances for his nation at the World Cup. “I’m delighted for him,” the former Brighton & Hove Albion manager revealed. “I kept in touch with him over the World Cup. I’m delighted for him that he got the game time and helped his team. He’s a good guy and he’s got quality.”

Ziyech was heavily linked with a transfer away during the summer, with reigning Serie A champions AC Milan the club deemed most interested. A move never materialised, however, and Ziyech has since not been able to make his mark at Stamford Bridge. It’s fuelled yet more rumours of a transfer away, with a move back to former club Ajax touted as a potential option for the 29-year-old.

Newcastle United could also reportedly make a move for Ziyech if his game time at Chelsea doesn’t drastically improve upon his return from international duty.

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