“He should have a much bigger role in the team.”
Robin van Persie has ridiculed Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel for his treatment of playmaker Hakim Ziyech since taking over at the club.
The former Manchester United and Arsenal forward believes Ziyech is being wasted at Chelsea and feels he is getting unfairly treated by the German boss.
Robin van Persie on Thomas Tuchel’s treatment of Hakim Ziyech.
Ziyech is unlikely to start Saturday night’s Champions League final, having seen his game-time curtailed since the German’s arrival at Stamford Bridge.
Many of his 39 appearances for the Blues have come from off the bench under both Lampard and Tuchel, and Van Persie is frustrated that the 28-year-old hasn’t seen the game-time he feels he deserves.
“It is actually a shame that the creativity of players like Ziyech, Pulisic and Kovacic – who I think is a brilliant player – is not being expressed,” Van Persie told De Telegraaf.
“Kovacic is their engine and playmaker. Ziyech also has those qualities higher up the pitch, but he should have a much bigger role in the team.
“He is now constantly searching [for a place in the team], being played in all different positions.
“But surely it can’t be that difficult to give such a creative player a good position, right?
“You can also see it differently, first give Ziyech and Kovacic an important role and then let players like [N’Golo] Kante and other types work around them.”
Chelsea v Manchester City preview.
Ahead of the Champions League final, Chelsea’s season has been somewhat derailed since beating Real Madrid in the semi-final.
A disappointing FA Cup final defeat to Leicester City was avenged three days later, with a 2-1 home win at Stamford Bridge which ultimately secured a top four finish for Tuchel’s side.
However, they were subsequently beaten 2-1 away to mid-table Aston Villa and had to rely on Tottenham doing them a favour away to the Foxes on the final day to secure Champions League football next season.
They go into the Champions League without the pressure of having to qualify for next season’s competition but face a stern test from Pep Guardiola, who is in his first final since his halcyon Barcelona and Lionel Messi days.