Frank Lampard backs new signing Hakim Ziyech to give Chelsea the spark they have been missing

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Blues manager says their €40m buy from Dutch side Ajax can provide his team with a 'bit of creativity and something different'

Hakim Ziyech, right, will join Chelsea from Dutch champions Ajax this summer in a €40 million (Dh160m) deal. AP

Ajax's Moroccan player Hakim Ziyech, right, has scored over 100 goals for club and country. reuters

Hakim Ziyech was a key figure in Ajax's run to the Champions League semi-finals last year. Getty Images

Hakim Ziyech has scored 49 goals in 160 appearances for Ajax. AFP

Ajax's Hakim Ziyech during the Champions League match against Valencia in December. Getty Images

Hakim Ziyech is Chelsea boss Frank Lampard's first signing. PA

Ajax's Hakim Ziyech was named Dutch footballer of the year in 2018. Reuters

Hakim Ziyech scored in both legs against Real Madrid in the Champions League round of 16 last season. Getty Images

Hakim Ziyech was named Ajax Player of the Year for the second straight season. Getty Images

Alkmaar's Jonas Svensson, right, fights for the ball with Ajax's Hakim Ziyech. AFP

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The National

Feb 14, 2020

February 14, 2020

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Chelsea manager Frank Lampard believes winger Hakim Ziyech will add the creative spark that has gone missing from their midfield this season.

The 26-year-old Morocco international, who helped Ajax win the league and cup double last season, will join the Premier League team in the close season after the two clubs agreed an initial deal for €40 million (Dh160m) on Thursday.

"He's certainly a player we hope can bring that bit of creativity and something different for us," Lampard said ahead of Monday's league game against Manchester United.

"He scores goals, assists ... he's got a great left foot and plays generally off the right side but can play behind the front man. Probably when you look at us this season, there have been game where we may have maybe struggled to unlock the door.

"I know he's not coming now but it's exciting for us as a club and the fans to know that he'll be here next season. I think he's a fantastic player."

Chelsea, who successfully appealed a one-year transfer ban, did not sign any recruits in January and Lampard was asked if more arrivals were expected at Stamford Bridge. Veteran wingers Pedro and Willian are out of contract at the end of the season.

"I don't know. We have to worry first about where we're at," said Lampard, whose side are fourth in the table on 41 points – eight points behind second placed Leicester City, who take on Wolves on Friday night, and two ahead of Sheffield United in fifth.

"Trying to come in the top four is the priority for us so my main concern is that. But we're always on the lookout and we're always working together to see how we can improve.

"Those improvements could be needed maybe in the summer and we'll try to make sure we get the right ones."

Updated: February 14, 2020 04:49 PM

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