Hakim Ziyech is set to return to the pitch for the first time since suffering a knee injury in pre-season. The midfielder arrived at Chelsea during the summer window, but has yet to make his Premier League bow.
After signing from Ajax on a pre-contract agreement, Ziyech trained with the Blues at Cobham in preparation for the new season.
However, in their final warm-up game, he suffered a knee injury, which has seen him miss the opening month of the campaign.
Ziyech has been back in full training for the last two weeks, but Lampard decided to ease him back to full fitness by leaving him out of the win vs Crystal Palace.
Ahead of that game, Lampard said: “Ziyech is getting closer but not close enough to be on the bench.”
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Despite not being available to make his competitive Chelsea bow, Ziyech has departed on international duty with Morocco.
He and his international teammates have two fixtures in the next week, with friendlies against Senegal on Friday and then DR Congo next Tuesday.
The 27-year-old is expected to be involved in one, or both of the games as he looks to regain match fitness for the next portion of Premier League fixtures.
Chelsea have seven fixtures in three weeks following the two-week break, with Lampard’s squad set to be stretched to its limit.
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Although he has been forced to wait for his Premier League debut, Ziyech has reportedly impressed teammates and coaches, during a string of impressive training performances.
Lampard’s former England teammate Rio Ferdinand, revealed the Chelsea boss has been left stunned by his abilites.
Ferdinand said: “I spoke to Frank the other day about Ziyech and he said: ‘His passing is ridiculous’.
“I’m looking to see them passes when he cuts with his left foot and has the likes of Mason Mount, Timo Werner, Kai Havertz etc all making runs, and I think Ziyech will be putting it on a plate for these boys.”
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Ahead of his first game in almost six weeks, images were released of Morocco’s training sessions, showing Ziyech’s knee strapped up.
“He should have stayed to recover,” one Chelsea fan suggested, although another said: “But this bandaged up knee doesn’t mean he’s in some discomfort tbh!”
A third questioned his decision to be allowed to leave for international duty, posting: “I don’t really understand. How can he go to national team when he’s not fit”.
“He needs to regain match fitness somehow, won’t be the first time a player plays with his knee taped up and it won’t be the last,” a Blues fan replied.
“Should be at Cobham”, a fourth claimed. “Don’t aggravate his injury. A fully fit Ziyech is the best for club and country. Patience please,” another concluded.
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