Lampard insists he won't be 'throwing Hazard comparisons' at Ziyech

Frank Lampard insists he won’t be ‘throwing Eden Hazard comparisons’ at Hakim Ziyech after his impressive start to life at Chelsea but says there is more to come from the talented winger

  • Frank Lampard has insisted he’s not comparing Hakim Ziyech to Eden Hazard
  • Chelsea have struggled to replace the talents of Hazard since his departure 
  • But Ziyech’s performances in recent weeks have been compared to the Belgian  

Frank Lampard has urged Hakim Ziyech to ‘do it his own way’ as the Chelsea winger’s superb displays have given the club hope he can fill the void left by Eden Hazard.

Ziyech has transformed Chelsea’s attack with two goals and three assists in his first five starts for the club and will be a key part of Lampard’s plans to get the better of Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham.

This has already led to comparisons with the Belgian, whose creative hole out wide Chelsea have struggled to fill since he joined Real Madrid ahead of Lampard’s first season.

 Hakim Ziyech’s performances have given Chelsea fans hope he can fill Eden Hazard’s void

Frank Lampard insisted he won’t be throwing comparisons with the Belgian at his new signing

Lampard is astute enough not to burden Ziyech with such pressure, especially after such a short space of time.

‘It is very hard to fill one-for-one a player of Eden Hazard’s talents. His input at the club was huge. To lose that you have to try to find a way around it with the transfer ban last year, it was more about the younger players coming in and how we could become more efficient as a team.

‘I think we made really good steps on that front and now with the players we have brought in I would hate to give any of them the job or idea of “you must replace Eden”. They have to focus on themselves.

Chelsea have struggled to fill the creative hole left by Hazard’s departure to Real Madrid 

‘I remember Eden’s first year or two at Chelsea. It was clear what an amazing player he was going to become but he also needed time to become that great player that we all now know and love as Chelsea people. The players we brought in all have potential in their own way to make the pathway to show how much they can give to the club but I certainly won’t be throwing Eden Hazard comparisons at them. They have to do it in their own way.’

Ziyech’s impact has been immediate. Chelsea had failed to win six of their first nine games in all competitions this season before Ziyech made his first start after recovering from a knee injury.

He’s started all but one since and Chelsea have won the lot. The Moroccan creates the most chances per game of any Chelsea player in the league this season and already has the most assists.

‘He has made a great impact,’ said Lampard. ‘I have been impressed with him in every sense. He has delivered on the pitch and in a short space of time. This is one of the reasons I brought him to the club. I thought he could be a real talent and bring something different in his style and the way he plays. So far he has shown that and I expect him to show more.’

Ziyech has contributed two goals and three assists in his first five starts for the Blues

Ziyech has been just one of Lampard’s summer signings that has impressed. Timo Werner is finding his feet, Ben Chilwell has excelled while the experienced Thiago Silva has given much-needed know-how in such a young side, especially one challenging for the title.

‘There is a balance in our squad now,’ said Lampard. ‘We tried to recruit players of a certain age bracket which hopefully will be a real long-term benefit for the club.

‘Thiago was opportunity that came up that in a footballing sense was a great solution because he has that quality and experience, so we’re developing a nice balance.

‘With every passing game the younger players become more comfortable in their surroundings, can grow and become better leaders, more influentials in the dressing room. Now it’s just a matter of what we try to do to bring success no matter what the age.’

What is success for Chelsea this season? A top-four finish in Lampard’s first season was certainly one. Having spent £230m in the summer, the expectation is increased. A victory over Tottenham could put them top after Liverpool were held to a draw at Brighton.

‘At the moment, it’s tighter at this early stage of the season. But there’s a long way to go. The thing that separates the top teams that win titles from the others, is consistency. 

‘A short period of games is not enough to say that ourselves or any other teams that are up there at the moment are actually going to be title contenders come the end of the season. That’s all to be proven by us.’

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