Former Netherlands forward Andy van der Meyde has questioned Hakim Ziyech’s decision to join Chelsea.
Last week, the Blues beat off competition from Manchester United and Arsenal to agree a £33.6million deal to sign the Moroccan forward from Ajax.
Ziyech, who has netted 38 goals in 108 appearances for the Amsterdam club, will become Frank Lampard’s first signing since he took charge at Stamford Bridge and he will join the club in the summer.
And Van der Meyde, who played in the Premier League with Everton from 2005-2009, believes Ziyech deserves a big move but has questioned whether his transfer to Chelsea is the right step in his career.
“It’s time for him to leave. Hakim is ready, he has to take the next step,” Van der Meyde told Dutch outlet VTBL.
“The Eredivise is a training party for Ziyech. It makes sense that he looking for a new team. You need that as a top athlete.
“I just didn’t expect him to go to Chelsea. I don’t think it’s a top team nor a stable club. I would have expected Bayern Munich or someone of that size.
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“Of course, it could be that the hierarchy below Liverpool changes if Manchester City are really punished [by UEFA] and maybe Chelsea will benefit from it and they will play for the top trophies, but then again, if they play, I don’t think: “Wow, I’ll stay at home and watch”.’
Blues chiefs tried to sign Ziyech in the January window but the Eredivisie champions were unwilling to sell their talisman without finding a replacement.
Nevertheless, Lampard admitted he was delighted to get a deal over the line for the forward.
“Well I think he is a fantastic player and first came into my eye line during their run in the Champions League last season,” the Blues boss said.
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Happy to be fit again so I can enjoy these last months on the pitch, where I belong. Received a lot of warm and positive messages during my absence and I hope to create just a few more beautiful memories than we already have. Very happy with my next step, but first I have some unfinished business to handle #
“He was one of their standout players against Tottenham, of course. And then we’ve come up against him twice this season so I know a lot about him.
“I know his qualities, he has a great left foot, generally plays off the right but can play behind the front man.
“And when you look at us this season there are maybe games where we have struggled to unlock the door.
“He is a player we hope can bring that bit of creativity, bring something different, he scores goals and gets assists.”