Graham Potter says he was ‘delighted’ for Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech during his sensational run at Qatar 2022 with Morocco.
But the Blues boss thinks the World Cup semi-finalist is still amongst a long list of players who are pushing to get in his starting XI, and he has to be ‘patient’ for his chance.
It’s been a different tale for the star in club football though.
Since Potter took over from former manager Thomas Tuchel, Ziyech hasn’t started a single one of Chelsea’s games.
But the Blues boss was full of praise for his star when asked about him prior to Chelsea’s return to the Premier League season against Bournemouth on December 27.
“He’s been a little bit away from the first XI but he’s been involved in the games,” he said.
“He came on in the first game as a sub. We know his qualities, we like him as a player, he plays in between the lines, has fantastic qualities which we saw at the World Cup.”
However Potter was also realistic about the winger’s future at Chelsea, and said that despite his stunning showings in Qatar, he wouldn’t automatically earn a spot in the starting XI.
“We can speak a lot but the chances are there are always good players who aren’t in the starting XI you have to be patient,” he continued.
“I’m delighted for him, I kept in touch with him over the World Cup. I’m delighted for him that he got the game time and helped his team.
“He’s a good guy and he’s got quality.”
Chelsea are currently 8th in the league, level on points with Potter’s former side Brighton and will be looking to push on after a mixed start to the campaign.
You can listen to all the action from the Blues’ return to the Premier League, live on talkSPORT.
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