Graham Potter sends message to Chelsea outcast Hakim Ziyech
Graham Potter has urged Morocco World Cup star Hakim Ziyech to remain patient for a chance to salvage his Chelsea career. The former Ajax star has been reduced to a bit-part role under Thomas Tuchel’s successor and is yet to start a Premier League game since the change of management in September.
Indeed, Ziyech has made only three appearances since Potter took over but made light of that lack of game time at the World Cup where his performances helped the Atlas Lions become the first ever African team to reach a semi-final. The 29-year-old has been linked with a move to Serie A champions AC Milan in recent months while reports have also claimed he is keen on a return to Ajax.
Potter, however, insists the maverick winger has the talent necessary to become a key part of his short and long-term plans, but he will need to bide his time given the ferocious competition for places. He said:
‘He’s been a little bit away from the first XI but he’s been involved in the games. ‘He came on in the first game as a sub. We know his qualities, we like him as a player, he plays in between the lines ,has fantastic qualities which we saw at the World Cup.
‘We can speak a lot but the chances are there are always good players who aren’t in the starting XI you have to be patient. ‘I’m delighted for him, I kept in touch with him over the World Cup. I’m delighted for him that he got the game time and helped his team. ‘He’s a good guy and he’s got quality.’
Potter, meanwhile, refused to be drawn on Edouard Mendy’s contract situation amid reports that the Senegal international was unhappy having received a contract offer that he is said to have branded ‘disrespectful’. ‘It’s not my place to speak publicly about player’s contract situation,’ said Potter. ‘ That’s between them and the club.’