Dutch-Moroccan footballer Hakim Ziyech was given a lifeline by Galatasaray to get out of an unfortunate situation at Chelsea. The playmaker, who is originally from Dronten, Flevoland, will move from his London club to Istanbul on a rental basis, but Galatasaray has also stipulated an option to purchase the winger.
The 30-year-old no longer had any prospect of playing time at Chelsea, and did not even receive a squad number for this season.
Earlier this summer, Ziyech, like many other top footballers from Europe, seemed to be going to Saudi Arabia, but that transfer failed. This week Galatasaray came into the picture as a new employer. Ziyech signed with the Turkish top club on Saturday evening.
Ziyech previously played in the Netherlands for sc Heerenveen, FC Twente and Ajax. He moved from Amsterdam to Chelsea in the summer of 2020 for 40 million euros. With the English club, Ziyech won the Champions League in his first season and then also the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup.
He was one of Morocco’s star players at the World Cup in Qatar at the end of last year, but he was never able to become an undisputed starting force at Chelsea. Since American Todd Borglum took over the club a year ago, the Blues have already spent hundreds of millions on new players. Ziyech was increasingly muscled out of the picture as a result.
He was told this summer by the new coach, Mauricio Pochettino, that he could look forward to joining a new club. A return to Ajax was mentioned, but instead he will join Dries Mertens, Mauro Icardi and Rotterdammer Halil Dervisoglu playing for the Turkish champions.