Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has refused to speak about his conversation with Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech while stressing that the Moroccan "must be on the pitch."
The Red Devils boss made this known during his side's 4-1 thrashing of the visiting Chelsea team on Thursday (May 25) at Old Trafford, with Ziyech coming on as a late substitute for the Blues.
United were in emphatic form, as they condemned Frank Lampard's side for their sixteenth defeat in the 2022-23 Premier League campaign.
One Chelsea player who was handed game time by Lampard during the game was Ziyech, coming on in the 82nd minute of the match and replacing fellow winger Noni Madueke.
It didn't take long before the Moroccan international showed his worth on the pitch, as he turned provider for Joao Felix's consolation strike deep into stoppage time. The assist was his third for the Blues this season, despite being used sparingly during the 2022-23 football campaign.
Later on, Ziyech was seen having a conversation with Ten Hag, who happens to be a former manager of his, during his time at Ajax.
The duo worked together at Ajax for three seasons between 2017 to 2020 before Ziyech went on to secure a move to the Premier League team Chelsea.
Despite having a strong start to life at the west London club, the Moroccan found himself struggling for game time in the first team, which has been the case during his last two seasons at the club.
When asked what he [Ten Hag] was saying to Ziyech after his side's 4-1 win at Old Trafford, the Dutch tactician refused to spill any details about his chat with his former player.
However, he did emphasize on the need for the 30-year-old winger to secure more game time, especially as he's currently in his peak years as a professional football star:
"That's between Hakim and me [our talk post-match]. We have experienced a lot together, beautiful things. There is a bond for life. He has to play every week. A footballer like that, in the prime of his life, must be on the pitch."
How has Hakim Ziyech fared for Chelsea this season?
The 2022-23 football campaign has been a tough season for Moroccan winger Ziyech as he's struggled to secure adequate playing time at his current club of Chelsea.
Interestingly, the 30-year-old left-footed winger has been limited to just 929 minutes of football action across all competitions this season.
Additionally, Ziyech has 24 appearances this season for the Blues, with 18 of those being in the Premier League. He has also made six cup appearances, four in the Champions and two in domestic cup tournaments.
With the summer transfer window on the horizon, the 30-year-old could be among a host of first-team Blues players who could be allowed to leave the club in a few weeks' time.