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How Chelsea target Hakim Ziyech has performed this season

How Hakim Ziyech has performed this season
© Reuters
With Chelsea reportedly closing in on the summer signing of Hakim Ziyech, Sports Mole takes a look at how the playmaker has performed for Ajax this season.

Despite recent reports claiming that Chelsea failed with an approach for Hakim Ziyech during the January transfer window, it has now became apparent that the Blues opted against giving up on their pursuit of the Ajax playmaker.

On Wednesday afternoon, it was reported that Chelsea have remained in negotiations with the Dutch giants and Morocco international, reaching a conclusion of a £40m deal being verbally agreed ahead of the summer transfer window.

While there is still time for either party to back out of the proposal, it appears to be a transfer which comes at the perfect time for all involved.

With Ajax having ambitions to win another Eredivisie title and have a prolonged run in the Europa League, it appears that they never had any intention of parting ways with their key man midway through the campaign.

Regardless of the finances involved, it is a smart move given the influence which Ziyech has at the Johan Cruyff ArenA, with the 26-year-old contributing goals and assists from any of the numerous positions which he has featured this season.

As far as the Dutch top flight is concerned, Ziyech has chipped in with six goals and 12 assists from just 18 starts, putting him second to Dusan Tadic in terms of contributions to goals. However, Ziyech has played three fixtures fewer than his attacking teammate, arguably keeping him as Ajax's most valuable player.

Ajax's Hakim Ziyech celebrates scoring his side's second goal against Tottenham Hotspur with Dusan Tadic on May 8, 2019© Reuters

Despite having such a significant involvement in the final third, however, Ziyech is yet to provide more than two goals or assists in a single game, highlighting his consistency since the beginning of August.

Ziyech has been equally impressive in the Champions League, and Chelsea were in the firing line of Ziyech back at the start of November when Ajax made the trip to Stamford Bridge.

While he never got on the scoresheet, Ziyech had a hand in three of Ajax's four goals, providing direct assists for efforts from Quincy Promes and Donny van de Beek.

However, arguably his most memorable involvement came from a stunning free kick which was whipped in from a wide position, hitting the back post and finding the back of the net via Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Ajax's Hakim Ziyech celebrates scoring his side's first goal against Real Madrid in February 2019© Reuters

Although the Spaniard was unfortunate to be credited with the own goal, it was Ziyech's brilliance which led to Ajax taking a 3-1 advantage after just 35 minutes.

Ziyech also got in on the act in away fixtures at Valencia and Lille, putting his side on the brink of qualification for the last 16 before a home defeat to the former on matchday six.

In total, two goals and four assists came from six starts during the group stages, a return which suggests that he could make the difference when it comes to Ajax going deep in the Europa League.

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Ajax's Quincy Promes celebrates scoring their second goal against Chelsea on November 5, 2019
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