Chelsea's summer splurge at the start of the season is yet to pay dividends - particularly in the final third - as the likes of Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, and Hakim Ziyech have all struggled to make a mark in the Premier League.
Speaking prior to the Blues' 1-0 away win over Barnsley in the FA Cup, new Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel spoke highly of Ziyech. However, he also stated that the player must work hard to adapt to the English game.
"For me, it’s clear that he (Hakim Ziyech) needs to adapt to this kind of football, this kind of league," Tuchel said. "He comes from the Dutch league, from a strong Ajax squad. But they were the benchmark in the league and it’s not the same intensity and competition as it is here."
The German went on to claim it was the job of the coaching team at Stamford Bridge to get the Moroccan international playing at the level he used to operate at Ajax.
"But he’s adapting and he has the certain quality to decide matches and do the unexpected, which can give you an extra twist in any game. Of course, we want to push him to the same level of performance that he showed there and this is our job," Tuchel continued.
Ziyech was brought in from Ajax, the Dutch champions, for around £35 million, a seemingly cutthroat deal for one of Europe's sought-after creative midfielders. However, due to injuries and struggles with fitness, the Moroccan has only managed 6 goal contributions in his time at Chelsea so far.
The 27-year-old started for the Blues during their fifth-round FA Cup encounter against Barnsley. However, he was brought off midway through the second half after failing to make an impact on the game.
I am convinced Kai Havertz will have a big future at Chelsea: Thomas Tuchel
Hakim Ziyech was not the only new signing that Chelsea's new manager was impressed by. Tuchel went on to heap words of high praise on midfielder Kai Havertz.
"He (Kai Havertz) is totally self-aware, very humble and super talented, and I am convinced he will have a big future at this club," Tuchel said.
The 21-year-old arrived at Stamford Bridge in September for around £70 million but has failed to deliver for Chelsea while struggling with injury issues.