Chelsea boss Frank Lampard says he is “excited” at the prospect of seeing summer-signing Hakim Ziyech make his debut against Southampton on Saturday.
Ziyech joined Chelsea from Ajax in a £33.3m deal but suffered a knee injury in a pre-season friendly at Brighton on August 29, which has prevented him from making his competitive debut.
The 27-year-old played 30 minutes as a substitute for Morocco in a friendly against Senegal last weekend, and is now in line to make a return to club action as Chelsea host Southampton.
“Hakim Ziyech is in the squad – not fit to start but fit to participate some minutes we hope,” Lampard said in his pre-match press conference on Friday.
Zieych joined Chelsea from Ajax for £33.3m over the summer Picture credit: Chelsea FC
“We brought Hakim here and it feels like a long time ago now but he also has not played since the Dutch league finished during lockdown period.
“It’s a long time and he’s worked so hard. He’s been fantastic in terms of his professionalism to get fit and looks really good in training.
“Just game minutes is what we need now but yes of course I’m excited to get him in and around it and to bring what we brought him to the club for, which is the opportunity to create chances for us, to be the talented player that he is.”
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Christian Pulisic made his first appearance of the season in Chelsea’s last game before the international break
Lampard also welcomed the return to full fitness of another Chelsea’s winger, Christian Pulisic, who is available to make his first start of the season having recovered from a hamstring injury.
Pulisic played seven minutes as a substitute in Chelsea’s final game before the international break against Crystal Palace and has further built up his fitness levels since.
The duo’s return creates intense…