Frank Lampard’s hunt for a striker to replace Michy Batshuayi or Olivier Giroud as competition to Tammy Abraham is set to fall short of finding the right signing before the end of the January transfer window.
Moves for Napoli forward Dries Mertens and Paris Saint-Germain’s Edinson Cavani were ruled out on a deadline day that saw the Blues fail to add any new firepower to their front line.
Earlier in the month a number of names had been mooted as potential upgrades on the players the club already possess including Erling Braut Haaland and Timo Werner.
Instead, the Norwegian moved to Borussia Dortmund, scoring a hat-trick in his debut no less, with the German staying in the Bundesliga too with RB Leizpig.
Click to play
Tap to play
The video will start in8Cancel
Earlier in the day as the clock ticked down through the final hours of the January transfer window, football.london asked Chelsea fans who they wanted to see signed above all else before their club ran out of time.
With Cavani and Mertens out of contention, their focus took a surprising turn. Rather than call for a different striker to be teed up for negotiations with Marina Granovskaia before the close of business at 11pm on January 31 they plumped for a new playmaker to support the creative efforts of Lampard’s midfield.
Hakim Ziyech, the 26-year-old creative dynamo behind Ajax’s rise to the last four of the Champions League in 2019, was the player in their sights.
The Morocco international is not only a prolific providers of assists but a goal threat in his own right, which may also explain why supporters were so keen for Chelsea to make a last ditch deadline day move for the player.
Last season he scored 16 goals and bagged 13 assists in 29 league appearances in the Dutch Eredivisie. This campaign he has scored six and set up 12 in 18 matches.
Chelsea transfer news