Ajax’s star play-maker Hakim Ziyech was in action for Morocco today against Portugal, and has exited the World Cup thanks to a goal from the competition’s leading goal-scorer Cristiano Ronaldo. But, despite the result, Ziyech made a good account of himself, and potential suitors will be really impressed.
West Ham were touted among the English teams really interested in the player this summer, along with Everton and Liverpool and will likely step up their interest after his impressive performance. The 25-year-old stood out among his team-mates and spearheaded a number of sustained attacks against Portugal.
His set piece delivery was undoubtedly the best seen in the competition thus far, and he could have had a hat-trick of assists if Juventus defender Medhi Benatia hadn’t spurned his chances. He also came close to burying an equaliser minutes from time, but Pepe’s last-ditch block denied him the plaudits his performance deserved, after he sat the fullback down with a brilliant feint.
Manuel Pellegrini has been looking to land Felipe Anderson for weeks now with little resolve, as Lazio are throwing up stumbling blocks as soon as progress is made, and the Italian’s are now reportedly asserting that West Ham pay £35 million, with a 20% sell-on-fee inserted, according to the Mirror.
The Hammers would perhaps be better served to intensify their pursuit of Ziyech then, as the midfielder has all the attributes to become the next Dimitri Payet at the London Stadium, and fits the mould of player the Chilean boss is looking for to build his attacking dynasty in east London.