Home » Hakim Ziyech emerges as Antony alternative

Hakim Ziyech emerges as Antony alternative

Ten Hag has warmed to the idea of Ziyech coming to United

by Ayantan Chowdhury

It is no secret that Manchester United’s attacking options look wafer-thin beyond the front three of Anthony Martial, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford.

Erik ten Hag wants to add depth and competition for places in a gruelling season where United have to fight on four fronts along with the additional workload the World Cup will bring.

So far, the club’s moves for Antony and Benjamin Sesko have been held back due to Ajax and RB Salzburg’s unrealistic valuations of their players.

Add to it the drama surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo‘s future and the impasse over Frenkie de Jong‘s move from Barcelona, and Ten Hag is realising the implications of taking over the Old Trafford outfit in desperate need of yet another rebuild.

Ziyech a low-cost alternative

With time running out, the Red Devils are contemplating a shock move for another of Ten Hag’s former proteges — Hakim Ziyech. According to French journalist Nabil Djellit, who works for L’Equipe and France Football, the Moroccan has become one of the priority signings.

This news has been backed up by Santi Aouna of Foot Mercato who has also claimed that the English giants are seriously considering the Chelsea attacker this window.

Ten Hag is a big fan of balance and the left-footed Ziyech would serve as an ideal alternative to his first-choice target Antony. United currently do not have a left-footed attacker with Sancho occupying the right-wing role.

In fact, the Dutch boss brought the Brazilian to the Dutch league as a direct replacement for Ziyech, who had left to join Chelsea.

The 29-year-old enjoyed a meteoric season back in 2018-19 as he scored 21 goals in 49 appearances in all competitions prompting the Blues to splash the big bucks in 2020 to bring him to London.

The Morocco international was one of the Ten Hag’s key men as Ajax reached the semifinals of the Champions League and completed the Dutch double.

However, his time as a Chelsea player has not gone according to plan. Ever since his arrival in a deal worth €40 million, Ziyech has failed to hit the same heights. He ended his first season with a measly six goals in 39 appearances while last season he added another eight strikes in 44 games.

United won’t back ETH?

His inconsistency has prompted the London outfit to make him available for transfer for as little as as £8 million according to The Mail with AC Milan interested in securing his services. However, a reunion with Ten Hag would definitely rank higher up for the former Twente attacker.

However, not all at Old Trafford would favour such a deal with some United chiefs completely against the signing and could even block the deal.

It remains to be seen if Chelsea are willing to strengthen a direct rival. But Ziyech could serve as a low-cost, short-term alternative as United struggle to get Antony this window. If he can show glimpses of the form he displayed back in the Netherlands, fans will be very excited to welcome the ‘Wizard’.

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