Potter hails Ziyech displays but warns Morocco´s World Cup star must be patient

Graham Potter was delighted to see Hakim Ziyech show his quality at the World Cup, but the Chelsea head coach says there will always be talented players out of favour at Stamford Bridge.

Ziyech was one of the stars of the tournament as Morocco became the first African nation to reach the World Cup semi-finals in Qatar, playing a prominent role in several devastating counter-attacking displays from the Atlas Lions.

However, the tricky winger has enjoyed limited time on the field in the Premier League this season, featuring for a total of just 148 minutes and only starting one game.

Ziyech’s strong performances in Qatar have led to suggestions he could leave Chelsea in search of regular game time, but Potter remains hopeful he will excel at Stamford Bridge.

“Where he was at when we first came in, he was away from the first XI, but he has been involved in the games,” Potter said on Friday.

“We know his qualities, we like him as a player. He plays between the lines and has fantastic quality, and we saw that at the World Cup.

“At Chelsea, there are always good players that aren’t in the starting XI, and they have to be patient.

“I’m delighted for him that he helped his team; I kept in touch with him throughout the World Cup.”

Ziyech’s Morocco lost out to Mateo Kovacic’s Croatia in the third-place play-off, and both players will sit out Chelsea’s Premier League meeting with Bournemouth on Tuesday.

“It’s a real mix in terms of when they got knocked out and how much they played. They’ve dripped back in according to their own circumstances,” Potter said of his returning World Cup stars.

“They’ve come back in a really good way. We’re still waiting on Hakim and Mateo. Obviously, they went the distance with the third-place play-off.

“It’s a big demand for those two, so it was important to give them a bit of time. They won’t be available for the game. Everyone else has been back and had a few days of training.”


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