After making his Chelsea debut as a substitute in Chelsea’s 3-3 draw with Southampton at the weekend, Hakim Ziyech has revealed how it was a phone call with Frank Lampard that convinced him to join the Blues this summer.
The Moroccan international was the first arrival in a busy window of transfer activity at Stamford Bridge having made the €40m move from Dutch giants Ajax in July after intially reaching an agreement back in February.
Unfortunately for Ziyech – and for Chelsea – the player has suffered a frustrating start to life in England after picking up a knee injury during a pre-season fixture with Brighton and Hove Albion back in August.
The playmaker finally made his Blues debut as a late substitute against the Saints before earning another cameo appearance in the 0-0 draw with Sevilla in midweek in the Champions League.
With the 27-year-old potentially in line for his first start in the clash with Manchester United on Saturday, he revealed the important role that his new boss played in bringing him to England, despite initially not being sure of where he saw the next phase of his career.
‘We spoke on the phone and the way he was talking about the game of football was the most important thing for me at that time,’ Ziyech told chelseafc.com.
‘I come from Ajax and there we like to play football so we spoke about that and his idea of the game. After that, it was clear for me and clear that he trusted me.
‘I had my options open and it was already clear that I would leave in the summer, but not clear where I would go.
‘In January, we spoke with the club and at that point Ajax didn’t want to sell me but after the winter window it all happened really fast and everything was done in 10 days.’