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Journo: Underused Chelsea star could be used as makeweight in Raphinha deal

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Chelsea forward Hakim Ziyech on his way to AC Milan?

Chelsea player Hakim Ziyech could be involved in a swap deal for Leeds star and Arsenal target Raphinha

Leeds United forward Raphinha is on the radar of a number of Premier League clubs, including Chelsea. Speaking on The Football Terrace, CBS Sports’ Ben Jacobs (h/t Express) claimed that Hakim Ziyech could be used as a makeweight by the Blues in their bid for the Brazilian.

“Don’t be surprised if Chelsea advance their interest if they bring Hakim Ziyech into the equation because my understanding from talking to Leeds sources separate to Raphinha is that Ziyech, should he leave Chelsea, has been a player on their radar.”

Arsenal had already submitted an offer to the West Yorkshire club for their 25-year-old superstar, but Leeds rejected the offer and the Gunners are said to be preparing another bid. But Chelsea and Tottenham are also clubs that are interested in the Brazilian’s signing.

Chelsea could include Hakim Ziyech in the Raphinha deal.
Chelsea could include Hakim Ziyech in the Raphinha deal. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

The Stamford Bridge club is said to be looking at possible solutions for the deal and the Moroccan could be used by the six-time league champions to make the offer more compelling for the Whites.

“Because Leeds don’t just want a chunk of money for Raphinha to the tune of £55/£60million potentially, they would love to have a ready-made replacement.

“And they see Ziyech as a viable option and that would remain the case even if Raphinha goes elsewhere.”

A swap that makes sense

Since arriving at the Bridge from Ajax in 2020, Ziyech has left fans with a sour feeling. The Blues went for the Dutch-born Moroccan player after his impressive outings for the Eredivisie club that made it to the Champions League semi-final in the 2018/19 season.

The 25-year-old continued his vein of form into his final season at the Johan Cruijff ArenA. Chelsea decided to snap up the player, but Ziyech has had a hard time establishing a place in the team in his two seasons at the club.

In 83 appearances for the club, the attacking player has been tried in various positions by Thomas Tuchel, but the Moroccan hasn’t managed to stake a claim in the side. The former Ajax superstar has contributed with 14 goals and 10 assists for the Blues, but fans feel his impact has been minimal and inconsistent.

Raphinha has proven his PL credibility.
Raphinha has proven his PL credibility.

On the other hand, Raphinha is a player that has proven his Premier League mettle over the last two seasons. This year the Brazilian has come into his own and helped his side avoid the drop. The former Stade Rennais man scored 11 goals for the West Yorkshire club as they battled relegation.

If the Brazil national does end up signing for Chelsea, it’ll be interesting to see what he can produce in a side with better players and quality.

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As for Ziyech, it is a big question if he will be open to swapping the Blues for a side that was fighting to stay in the PL until the full-time whistle of their last league game of the season.

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