"We will never lose trust and patience with him" – Thomas Tuchel backs out-of-favor Chelsea star

Chelsea manager - Thomas Tuchel
Chelsea manager - Thomas Tuchel
Jidonu Mauyon

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has jumped to the defense of Hakim Ziyech, who has been relegated to a bit-part role at Stamford Bridge this season.

The tactician said of the attacker ahead of Chelsea's Premier League clash with Norwich this afternoon:

"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. It was so obvious after pre-season and the matches in pre-season that he has to be on the pitch."
Thomas Tuchel on Hakim Ziyech:"It's maybe the sideline again. He fought his way into the team at the beginning of the season because of performance in pre-season. [The injury] cost him a lot. Maybe today I don't feel him 100 per cent free with the shoulders."

Tuchel also revealed that Ziyech's injury, which he suffered during the UEFA Super Cup final against Villareal in August, has contributed to his limited involvement this term. He said:

"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 it’s maybe [his] subconscious, there is something which limits him in his movements and his freedom to turn, accelerate and decelerate."
Hakim Ziyech Chelsea stats.

The German tactician also declared the winger an important member of his squad but noted that he'd need patience and time to return to the team. He was quoted as saying:

"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 trust and never lose patience with him, he will stay an important player I’m sure."

Chelsea leading the race for the Premier League title

Hakim Ziyech has played just one game for Chelsea this season
Hakim Ziyech has played just one game for Chelsea this season

It's been a dream start for Chelsea in the Premier League this season. The Blues have recorded six victories, one draw and one defeat in eight games in the English top flight so far.

As it stands, Thomas Tuchel's men occupy the first position in the table with 19 points. They will next take on Norwich City at Stamford Bridge in their ninth league game of the season this afternoon. It remains to be seen if they can secure all three points from the encounter.

Edited by Rachel Syiemlieh
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