Hakim Ziyech has already replaced Willian as Chelsea are tipped to challenge Liverpool

Hakim Ziyech is already making Chelsea supporters forget about Willian.

The Morocco international’s move to Stamford Bridge was confirmed back in February – six months before Willian’s move to Arsenal was announced upon the expiry of his contract with the Blues.

And the decision to snap Ziyech up in a £33.4m deal from Ajax is proving to be an excellent piece of business by Chelsea.

Whilst the playmaker shined in the 4-1 win over Sheffield United, Willian struggled as the Gunners were beaten 3-0 at home by Aston Villa.

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So much so that Garth Crooks believes that Ziyech has cushioned the blow of the Brazilian swapping west London for north London in the summer transfer window by helping the Blues become Premier League title challengers – a trophy they’ve not won since 2017.

“Frank Lampard has every reason to be satisfied with what his team is producing at the moment,” Crooks said in his BBC team of the week column. “His new additions to what was already a healthy-looking squad are starting to gel.

“I said that if Chelsea were to lose Willian then they better have someone ready to replace him.

“Well, they have and his name is Hakim Ziyech. The Morocco international made my team last week after impressing against Burnley.

“He was even better against Sheffield United. The former Ajax player wasn’t on the scoresheet this time, but he provided the impetus and the tempo for a very impressive Chelsea victory.

“Five teams can win the Premier League title this season – and Chelsea are one of them.”

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One of Ziyech’s two assists against the Blades was for Thiago Silva who nodded home his first Chelsea goal from a pin-point set-piece delivery.

He too made Crooks’ team of the week and has been praised for helping to shore up the Blues’ previously leaky defence.

“The ball from Hakim…


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