Why Hakim Ziyech would be a fantastic signing for Manchester United
Back in May, the Manchester Evening News had claimed that Manchester United were interested in signing Ajax playmaker Hakim Ziyech. However, a deal didn’t go through during the summer transfer window.
Manchester United splashed a lot of money in the summer, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer prioritising solving his team’s defensive problems after a sixth-placed finish last term.
He urged the club to spend big on defenders such as Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, while pacy winger Daniel James arrived from Championship club Swansea City.
But after letting go of the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez, Solskjaer has limited options upfront to bank upon.
In Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Daniel James and Mason Greenwood, Solskjaer has pace, dynamism and movement in abundance but question marks remain over their ability to create as well as score consistently.
And those problems have been well documented in the new Premier League season, with United finding it difficult to breach defences and score goals freely after the opening day thumping of Chelsea at Old Trafford.
Solskjaer’s side clearly needs a creative presence in their attack, someone who can link up play, provide width down the right flank and come up with goals.
In that case, Hakim Ziyech would be a fantastic fit at Old Trafford and the Red Devils must not think twice to reignite their interest in the winger.
Ziyech, 26, enjoyed a phenomenal campaign with Ajax last season, bagging 21 goals and 24 assists across all competitions. He helped Ajax to the Champions League semi-finals, as well as securing a league and cup double in the Netherlands.
The Moroccan international was expected to leave the club with a host of big European clubs interested in securing his services, but eventually, he stayed put at Ajax.
In the Ajax ace, Solskjaer would get one of the most exciting talents in European football. His profile type should attract the United chief, with the Moroccan international blessed with a good turn of pace, vision, flair and good dribbling ability, as well an ability to play in multiple attacking roles.
Ziyech can play on either flank but has done so predominantly on the right-wing. This has been an obvious area of weakness for United in recent seasons, particularly this year and needs addressing in January.
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The 26-year-old is a silky dribbler capable of taking on defenders with both his trickery and his pace, and he loves to drift around the field to create opportunities for his teammates. Also, he is an expert from dead-ball situations and will add a different flavour to United’s attack.
At 26, Ziyech is about to embark upon the best years of his career. He could be an ideal signing for United, who lack quality and depth in the forward department.