Premier League 2018-19: Why Arsenal need to target Hakim Ziyech
Mesut Ozil has been in and out of the Arsenal team for quite a while now. The 30-year-old has just made just one appearance over the past six weeks, despite being fit and training with the team the entire time.
It is being reported that Arsenal boss Unai Emery is unhappy with Ozil’s contribution both on and off the field. The second highest wage earner in the Premier League has made 14 appearances for Arsenal this season, scoring thrice and assisting once.
That said, Arsenal have also been struggling a lot lately. Along with some major defensive issues at the back, they are missing their attacking spark too. Emery may have set his sights on the Premier League title next season, but he needs to not only address his defense but also his attack.
The Spanish manager needs to dig into the market to find a creative attacking midfielder who can replace Ozil permanently in the Arsenal team. And one such attacking talent is Hakim Ziyech from Ajax.
The Moroccan international has been on fire for Ajax this season, scoring 12 and assisting 8 in 17 league appearances. He averages a whopping 6.1 shots on goal per match in the Eredivisie.
Ziyech is a manager’s attacking dream. He poses a threat from direct free kicks, and he is also a clinical long-range shooter.
Ziyech has been scouted heavily by top European clubs, and Borussia Dortmund were seemingly close to signing the player in January. The 25-year-old is one of the most creative attacking midfielders in Europe, so it's no surprise he has high-profile suitors.
Ziyech is everything that Emery is missing in his Arsenal attack. He is quick and agile and also strong enough in his defensive contributions. He has a venomous left foot and can dribble past a lot of players with ease.
He is the perfect player to play behind Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, as he can provide them with a lot of opportunities to score. With Aaron Ramsey leaving and Ozil’s Arsenal career seemingly coming to an end, Ziyech has the ability to perform the duties of both Ozil and Ramsey.
Arsenal lack vision in their attack at the moment. Players like Alex Iwobi, Ramsey, Granit Xhaka and Matteo Guendozi are not able to deliver those killer passes from the midfield to Aubameyang or Lacazette. Sure, Iwobi and Ramsey are a surefire threat to any team’s defence, but they remain just that: a threat. They are not able to destroy any team’s defence with their skills.
Arsenal currently lack a midfielder who can see opportunities to score when there are none. Ziyech possesses that quality. With just one pass, he can open up the tightest of defences. He can keep Arsenal’s attack running all the time.
The Moroccan has the quality to play in the Premier League. He can take the entire Arsenal team to the next level and make them potential contenders for the Premier League title next season.Published 05 Feb 2019, 19:33 IST