Chelsea have already secured their first signing of Summer 2020, with Hakim Ziyech agreeing a move from Ajax to West London.
One might expect a skinny playmaker to struggle with the step up from the Eredivisie to the Premier League, but Ziyech will be prepared.
Speaking in quotes picked up by the Independent, Ziyech explained how he learned the game on the streets playing 5 a side with older and bigger boys. Without realising it at the time, all of that was proving to be superb preparation for the physical test he’s about to encounter when coming to the English too flight.
“You had to prove that you could play,” the Morocco star said of his footballing education on the streets of Dronten in the Netherlands in quotes picked up by the Independent.
”And I think I managed to show them I could play well. I learnt how to take kicks and knocks.”
There will be no shortage of kicks and knocks in the seasons to come at Chelsea. Eden Hazard, the man who Ziyech is effectively taking over from, was always by some distance the most fouled player in the league, and we expect opposition teams to target our new signing from day one.
Luckily for him, he will be ready for it. He’s been waiting all his life for this chance, and it will take more than a few kicks to stop him.