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Chelsea looking to replace Ziyech with Maddison as Napoli lurk around

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Transfer News: Thomas Tuchel not in the mood to let Hakim Ziyech leave Chelsea in January.

Transfer News: Chelsea open to Hakim Ziyech exit

According to transfer news from Daily Star, Chelsea are said to be open to letting go of Hakim Ziyech. Napoli are said to be the club interested in him alongside a few others. The Blues have also identified James Maddison as his replacement in case he leaves.

Ziyech arrived at Chelsea only last summer from Dutch champions AFC Ajax. After a bright beginning though, things hit rough terrain for the Moroccan international at Stamford Bridge with injuries playing a role in his difficult debut season.

Chelsea stars Hakim Ziyech and Callum Hudson-Odoi have injured their hamstrings
Chelsea star Hakim Ziyech had a difficult first season.

Even when he has been fit, Ziyech wasn’t favoured a great deal by manager Thomas Tuchel. As a result, the 28-year-old ended his debut Premier League season with just 23 appearances (15 starts), in which he managed a return of two goals and three assists.

Now, Thomas Tuchel has hinted that Ziyech may be let go in what will be a ‘hard decision’. Italian side Napoli are said to be interested in signing the midfielder while there is also interest from other clubs. Chelsea have already started making preparations for a possible exit, lining up James Maddison as a replacement.

Hakim Ziyech of Chelsea in action during the Premier League match
LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 27: Hakim Ziyech of Chelsea in action during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Stamford Bridge on January 27, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

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While offloading him may sound appealing, cutting him loose just after one season, would certainly be harsh. The Moroccan has plenty of quality and needs to be given time and opportunity to come good at the Bridge. At his best, he can be a huge asset to the club. As for Maddison, he does seem like a decent replacement in case Ziyech does leave.

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