EXCLUSIVE: Interview With Eredivisie Expert On Hakim Ziyech

Why would such a big club like Liverpool be interested in Hakim Ziyech?

“He’s a creative player who tends to have a profound impact on his team’s attack, and has gone from strength to strength in the last few years. If Liverpool lose someone like Coutinho, Ziyech would be a great choice to fill the creativity void, and would be reasonably cheaper than most alternatives.”


What is his biggest strength and weakness as a player?

“Biggest strength: Vision and quick thinking. He sees passes two moves before they happen, and has the passing range to pull them off.

Biggest weakness: Would’ve said physicality because he’s not the strongest, but there are ways around that. I think his biggest weakness is probably a tendency to shoot from way out – something Liverpool fans might actually be used to with Coutinho.”


Where could Ziyech fit in at Liverpool?

“He’s a #10 and that’s where he should be used to get the most of his ability. Has played out wide before but is at his best centrally.”


Klopp has introduced the “gegenpressing” football at Liverpool. How good is Ziyech’s pressing ability?

“Surprisingly pretty good. This was the major concern most people had when he moved to Ajax from FC Twente: could he adapt to the work ethic required by Peter Bosz, who has his own high pressing football and a 5-second-rule? Ziyech was played out wide for a bit until he adapted and then did a great job of joining the pressing from the front as a #10. He actually said at the end of the season that he’d come to love pressing, so that was a nice marker of his development.”


What already established player would you compare Ziyech to? How is he similar?

“Mesut Ozil. Quickness in thinking and adapting to different attacking situations.”


What style of player is he? Does he attack whilst demonstrating his defensive abilities or not? Is he box to box?

“Not a box to box player but as said before, he’s evolved well from his Twente days when he lacked any defensive responsibility. He has taken that on a lot more at Ajax.”


What makes Ziyech significant to other midfielders like him?

“He’s just a joy to watch, and is very influential in the final third. I remember after he came in, I think he had a hand in like at least one goal a game for Ajax for the first handful of games already, so he does make a tangible difference too.”


We thank you for your time Priya!

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