Could Hakim Ziyech be the perfect player for Swansea?
Posted by Matt Walters | Published on August 29, 2016
Swansea have lost their previous two games to Hull and Leicester and have appeared to lack creativity throughout the season, scoring only two goals and both coming in the latter stages of the match. If Swansea are to achieve their potential this season, improvement is required. I believe that improvement should come in the form of Hakim Ziyech.
Who is he?
The 23 year old is captain of FC Twente and has scored 34 goals in 76 appearances for the Eredivise side. The Moroccan plays mainly as an attacking midfielder but has been played across the attacking 4 and has also been linked with Ajax and Fenerbahce recently. He came through the academy of SC Heereneveen and made his debut for them in 2012. In 2014 he signed for Twente for an undisclosed fee, he was named captain the following season at the age of 22. It is believed Twente would allow him to depart for around £10m as his contract expires the Summer after next.
What would he bring?
Goals, assists, leadership. Last season he scored 17 times and picked up 10 assists in 34 appearances as he lead his team to a 13th placed finish despite a points deduction for financial issues. Although it would be difficult to force Gylfi Sigurdsson off a free kick, Ziyech is renowned for his dead-ball expertise. He has the ability to create something out of very little and in a Swansea team that offered very little goal threat against Leicester, a spark like his would be a great addition. Additionally, the departure of Ashley Williams has left a rift in the club, a leader is needed just as much as a playmaker is. Hakim Ziyech is a leader, he has excelled as Twente’s captain after one season despite his age.
Where would he fit?
Obviously Gylfi Sigurdsson starts in his preferred #10 role behind the striker and the physical demands of a Premier League striker could limit Ziyech and it is unlikely that a club of Swansea’s financial status would pay a club record fee for new striker Borja Baston to sit on the bench. It seems likely that Ziyech would start on the wing over Wayne Routledge – who has come under criticism of late – and Modou Barrow, which allows fan favourite Jefferson Montero to start on the opposite wing.
How likely is the signing?
With his contract running out in two years time and Twente under pressure to maintain a positive cash flow with a forced relegation a serious possibility, Twente would be open to bids and are unlikely to offer him a new deal. The primary competition appears to be from Dutch giant Ajax and Turkish side Fenerbahce. Both clubs are richer than Swansea but neither can offer football as competitive as the Premier League. I would say there is a strong possibility of it happening as long as the rumours are true and Swansea are in for him.