The Morocco international has featured in only two of Chelsea’s last seven games across all competitions.
A shoulder injury continues to hamper Hakim Ziyech and has forced Thomas Tuchel to restrict the Chelsea star’s game time.
After an on and off debut season, Ziyech entered the new campaign looking to make his mark. But just 43 minutes into the club’s first competitive game, he got injured. It came in the UEFA Super Cup final against Villarreal in August, where a collision with Juan Foyth forced him off.
Since then, Ziyech has seen just 98 minutes of Premier League action all season and the midfielder has not featured in any of Chelsea’s last four league games.
What did Tuchel say?
“First of all, it’s maybe the same line again, he fought his way into the team, he was in the team at the beginning of the season because of performance,’ said the Blues manager in a press conference on Friday.
“It was so obvious after pre-season and the matches in pre-season that he has to be on the pitch. To start from there he was on the pitch, then he scored and had the injury in the Super Cup game. From there I felt it cost him a lot because even until today I don’t feel he’s 100 per cent free in his shoulder.
“When we played him over 90 minutes, we started him several times after that, we started him in the Champions League, I felt that even if there’s no pain, even it’s maybe [his] subconscious, there is something which limits him in his movements and his freedom to turn, accelerate and decelerate.”
Tuchel added: “He needs time and patience to fight his way back into the team, that’s the way it is.
“Looking for a spot, while he was out, okay, some other guys performed, he’s one of our players and we will never lose the trust and never lose patience with him, he will stay an important player I’m sure.”
Ziyech will hope to get a chance on Saturday as Chelsea face Norwich City in the Premier League. For match details and betting tips, check out the link here.