Erik ten Hag has admitted his surprise that Hakim Ziyech hasn’t left Ajax sooner, following reports that the Dutch club have agreed a £38 million deal for the midfielder with Chelsea.
The Moroccan international looks set to leave the club after a deal was agreed with Premier League side, Chelsea, who saw their initial attempts to sign Ziyech rejected during the recent January transfer window.
However, Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reported on Wednesday that the two clubs have now reached an agreement over a €45m summer move, though Ajax boss Ten Hag has admitted his amazement that an exit for the 26-year-old has taken this long to happen following his starring displays in recent seasons.
Hakim Ziyech for Ajax ⚪️🔴
🏃♂️ 159 appearances
⚽️ 48 goals
🅰️ 82 assists
Serious numbers 🤙 pic.twitter.com/sS0Ba2Sfac
— Goal (@goal) February 12, 2020
“Ziyech to Chelsea? A transfer was coming, we expected it to happen” Ten Hag said ahead of Ajax’s KNVB Cup clash against Vitesse Arnhem on Wednesday.
“And I actually already expected this one or two years earlier. And each time it was: ‘Wow, he stayed again’. We are just happy that we will still have him until the end of the season.”
Ziyech will become Frank Lampard’s first signing since taking over at Stamford Bridge last summer, the winger having impressed in helping Ajax to a domestic double and the Champions League semi-finals last season.
This season has seen the former FC Twente star continue to star, Ziyech scoring eight goals and providing a further 16 assists in all competitions, including an impressive performance when the two sides met in west London during the Champions League group stages earlier in the campaign.