Hakim Ziyech has been impressive after his return from injury with two goals and three assists in his first five games. The Morocco international has added a much needed impetus to the Chelsea attack which lacked the cutting edge last season after Eden Hazard moved to Real Madrid. Hazard, who scored 85 Premier League goals during his time at Chelsea was instrumental in scoring goals and unlocking defences with this individual brilliance. Ziyech’s fine start to his career at Chelsea has drawn comparisons with Eden Hazard by fans and pundits, but Lampard insists he is not comparing the new summer recruit with the former Chelsea man.
Speaking to reporters the Chelsea manager said “It is very hard to fill one-for-one a player of Eden Hazard’s talents. His input at the club was huge. To lose that you have to try to find a way around it with the transfer ban last year, it was more about the younger players coming in and how we could become more efficient as a team. I think we made really good steps on that front and now with the players we have brought in I would hate to give any of them the job or idea of “you must replace Eden”. They have to focus on themselves.
I remember Eden’s first year or two at Chelsea. It was clear what an amazing player he was going to become but he also needed time to become that great player that we all now know and love as Chelsea people. The players we brought in all have potential in their own way to make the pathway to show how much they can give to the club but I certainly won’t be throwing Eden Hazard comparisons at them. They have to do it in their own way.”
Praising Ziyech’s impact Lampard said “He has made a great impact,’ said Lampard. I have been impressed with him in every sense. He has delivered on the pitch and in a short space of time. This is one of the reasons I brought him to the club. I thought he could be a real talent and bring something different in his style and the way he plays. So far he has shown that and I expect him to show more.
Chelsea’s summer recruits have settled well and Lampard believes they have a balanced squad to push for titles. Lampard added “There is a balance in our squad now. We tried to recruit players of a certain age bracket which hopefully will be a real long-term benefit for the club. Thiago was opportunity that came up that in a footballing sense was a great solution because he has that quality and experience, so we’re developing a nice balance. With every passing game the younger players become more comfortable in their surroundings, can grow and become better leaders, more influentials in the dressing room. Now it’s just a matter of what we try to do to bring success no matter what the age.”
Lampard believes his team needs to be consistent to have any chance of competing against the top team for titles. He said “At the moment, it’s tighter at this early stage of the season. But there’s a long way to go. The thing that separates the top teams that win titles from the others, is consistency. A short period of games is not enough to say that ourselves or any other teams that are up there at the moment are actually going to be title contenders come the end of the season. That’s all to be proven by us.”