Frank Lampard reckons the willingness of Hakim Ziyech to attempt defence-splitting passes that other players reject can set him apart at Chelsea.
Ziyech starred on his full debut for the Blues, finding the net in Wednesday’s 4-0 Champions League win at Krasnodar.
The 27-year-old looks to be approaching full sharpness after a niggling knee injury. That return to fitness leaves boss Lampard purring on his game-breaking potential at Stamford Bridge.
Ziyech’s ability to ghost off the wing and create from a more central role boosted Chelsea’s fluidity in Russia.
It has all left Lampard suitably impressed and he’s explained why he was quick to make the Moroccan a top target.
“When we brought Hakim into the club it’s because I’d watched him a lot,” Lampard explained. “We’d played against them the year before.
“And I knew his qualities that he could play as a winger that gives us real width, but also gives us the clever movements when he comes off the line.
“He can really produce important passes, assist-style passes, or break-the-line passes; passes that he takes on that maybe other players don’t.
“So he brings us something certainly different from what we have in terms of style.
“There were glimpses, more than glimpses, of it last night, and they were really positive signs.”
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Lampard explains how he will get side to gel Chelsea’s £220million summer spending spree has generated a wealth of talent for Lampard, with one of the Blues boss’ biggest challenges to work out exactly how to fit together all those moving parts.
Lampard remains unfazed by that task however, insisting that the congested calendar means all managers will be rotating regularly until at least the new year.
“With Hakim, I thought he was really good in Russia, especially when you consider that was his first start for months,” said Lampard.
“He hasn’t been fit so that was a really big plus from the evening.
“Not just myself but all the managers who are competing in European football at the moment are finding this a really heavy schedule of games.
“So we do need options, and in the attacking areas we do have options.
“We’re also searching for relationships, because some of the newer players are learning about each other and learning how we want to play.
“So I’ve got no problem with the options at the minute, and the players have to understand that when you play every three days consistent up until Christmas and beyond, then there will be some rotations at times and we’ll need everybody.”
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