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Chelsea new boy Ziyech not deterred by Premier League physicality


Chelsea's recent signing Hakim Ziyech is confident he can dispel fears that the Premier League will be too physical for him.

Winger Ziyech completed his move from Ajax to Stamford Bridge at the start of this month after a £33.3million deal was agreed between the two clubs back in February.

The Moroccan's creativity was evident throughout his time in the Eredivisie - where he provided at least 10 assists in each of his six previous campaigns - while he scored five times during Ajax's run to the 2018-19 Champions League semi-finals too.

However, Ziyech's former Ajax team-mate Anwar El Ghazi - who now plays for Aston Villa - jokingly told his friend he would need to hit the gym to adjust to the demands of the Premier League.

Ziyech is aware of the theory he may be too lightweight to thrive in the English top flight, yet he believes his intelligence can help him adapt.

"They always told me the Premier League is a tough competition. I know it is," he told Chelsea TV.

"They always said, 'You're physically not ready', and stuff like that.


"But if you see in all competitions, players have the same body as me, football is just playing with your head and being smart and creating spaces, it's always in the small things."

The 27-year-old Netherlands-born winger was in attendance at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday to watch the Blues boost their Champions League hopes by beating Norwich City 1-0.

He will hope to be playing in Europe's elite competition next season when he is allowed to play for Chelsea, a club he grew up idolising.

"When I was a young guy, you always want to play for a big club," he added.

"If you look at when I was young, the players that played here, it was always a big club. I'm very happy.

"I can remember I was playing in the youth at Heerenveen and here was playing [Didier] Drogba, [Frank] Lampard, [John] Terry, we were always for Chelsea.

"If you look at it now, that you can play here, it means a lot to me."

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