Hakim Ziyech’s former boss can't believe 'lack of physicality' claims

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Blaise Bourgeois

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Hakim Ziyech’s former manager Hans de Jong has laughed off suggestions that the Ajax star could not handle the physical nature of the Premier League.

Ziyech spent a decade in the Heerenveen system, playing under de Jong in the youth set-up before moving Twente in 2014, taking the step up to Ajax two years later.

The 27-year-old will join Chelsea on a £33.3m deal this summer but de Jong doesn’t believe the rumours that he won’t be able to cut it in England.

“They are still saying that he has a problem with his physicality.

“That is what everybody is saying right now but they were saying the same when he came from the academy at Heerenveen.

“They said the same when he went to Twente – problem with his physicality. Same thing at Ajax. So I don’t think it’s a problem.

“I have absolutely no doubts. He is going to beat the next challenge.”

Ziyech once again dominated in the Netherlands this season, scoring six goals and providing an assist on 13 others in just 21 Eredivisie appearances.