Chelsea: Tony Cascarino baffled by Hakim Ziyech selection
Chelsea forward Hakim Ziyech’s recent selection in the starting lineup has left Tony Cascarino baffled after his deadline day move collapsed.
The Lowdown: Ziyech’s inclusion
The Blues dropped more points in their pursuit of a top-four finish after a 0-0 draw on Friday night made it just one Premier League win from their previous six.
With Chelsea shelling out £318.7m (via football.london) on eight signings in the January transfer window, it was perhaps surprising to see Ziyech start considering he saw a deadline day move to Paris Saint-Germain collapse at the last minute with Chelsea allegedly failing to submit the correct paperwork (via Sky Sports).
The Latest: Cascarino’s comments
Speaking on TalkSport following the draw that saw Chelsea fail to beat west London neighbours Fulham in the league this season after previously losing 2-1 at Craven Cottage in January, Cascarino questioned the Moroccan’s inclusion and suggested it sums up the problems the Blues are experiencing at the moment, saying:
“I don’t get it. I mean, if you’ve been in a proposed move to another club and it hasn’t come through, the last thing you’d expect is to be in the starting lineup on the Friday night.
“When I saw the line up I was just like, ‘really?’
“Why’s Graham Potter selected him if he was supposedly going to be sent out on loan until the end of the season?
“There’s some weird things going on at Chelsea. It doesn’t make sense in many shapes and forms.”
Will Chelsea finish in the top four?
The Verdict: Potter’s thinking
With Ziyech’s move allegedly breaking down through the fault of Chelsea, it could be explained that Graham Potter didn’t want to lose the 29-year-old given he’s started four of the previous five games in the league.
After playing just 148 minutes in the first 15 league games, he was brought in from the cold to feature in each of the previous six matches. However, the Fulham clash saw him start over new £29m signing Noni Madueke and Raheem Sterling, who were both later introduced in vain.
With Sterling missing the previous three league games through a hamstring injury, alongside Christian Pulisic being out since the start of January with a knee injury, Madueke only making his debut on Friday and Mykhailo Mudryk substituted at half-time after suffering from a cold (via GOAL), on reflection, there perhaps weren’t as many options available to Potter as would’ve been believed.
Amid Ziyech struggling for minutes earlier in the season, he may find himself required in the short term before those injured return and the fresh arrivals get up to speed. This may eventually see him cut out again, with zero goals and one assist this season far from an acceptable return.