Hakim Ziyech needs a “change of air” and should join Manchester United from Chelsea, former Morocco international Mustapha El Haddaoui has told Stats Perform.
The 29-year-old has fallen out of favour at Stamford Bridge, with just one start and five appearances in the Premier League this season.
A major U-turn occurred at international level, however, with Ziyech back in the fold for Morocco following Vahid Halilhodzic’s exit and the arrival of Walid Regragui.
Ziyech has played a key part in the side’s stellar performances at the World Cup, with the Atlas Lions reaching the quarter-finals for the first time in their history and becoming the first African side to reach the last eight since Ghana in 2010.
El Haddaoui is now calling for a similar turnaround at club level, as he wants to see a move across the Premier League to reunite with Erik ten Hag, who Ziyech played under at Ajax.
“He has to change of air because over there, [Chelsea] don’t trust him. Now he is coming back very strong,” he said.
“His problem with Vahid, who didn’t want to call him, disturbed him. In the national team, when there is a FIFA date, everyone joins their selections. He stays there [in London] and it went around in his head.
“He sees that among the others who are with him at Chelsea, who go to the national team, he is of the same level, even superior, and he has lost a little bit of confidence.
“The coach who was there or the one who arrived afterwards didn’t have much confidence in him.
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“Afterwards, when you don’t play, you lack playing time, you lack motivation, and you lack timing in the match. Now we see his potential, we see what he is capable of, but he has many offers.
“He has to move from Chelsea or go to Manchester United because the Ajax coach wanted him, he had him in his team. But he will bounce back. But now he has to leave during the transfer window.”
Morocco’s performances at the World Cup have inspired hope across the African continent, though El Haddaoui was always optimistic about the Atlas Lions.
“It’s not just a pleasure, it’s an exceptional joy, given what this team has shown, this Moroccan team,” he added.
“I believed in it from the start. When the draw was made, I told myself that Morocco had a chance and that they would go through to the second round with another country. I knew that this generation had potential.
“Moreover, with the change of coach, the arrival of Walid Regragui has given new life to this team and the players. He made a call for the return of Ziyech and [Noussair] Mazraoui.
“How can we do without this world-class player? I hope we will go all the way. We were dreaming about it, but now it’s starting to happen.”
Portugal stand in the way in Morocco’s bid to become the first African nation to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup, with a meeting set for Saturday at Al Thumama Stadium.