Galatasaray have unveiled their new signing and former Chelsea star Hakim Ziyech
The Turkish giants decided to unveil the player in a peculiar fashion. In the middle of a Super Lig match against Trabzonspor, Hakim Ziyech was made to stand on an elevated platform on the stands among Galatasaray fans.
He donned Galatasaray shirt as he smiled and waved to the fans, annoucing his arrival as a new signing.
Galatasaray is signing Hakim Ziyech on a season-long loan for a reported fee of £3m. There is a buyout clause attached to the deal. The Turkish club will reportedly pay £2.4m if they want to sign Ziyech permanently next season.
Ziyech fell out of favor at Chelsea since last season and was effectively axed off the squad ahead of the 2023/24 campaign which has gotten underway.
The Morocco international made the piling list of players which were set to be axed by Chelsea this summer in an epic clearout that has seen the likes of homegrown stars and longest-serving players leave the club.
Before the subsequent exits of players such as Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Christian Pulisic, former captain and one of the longest-serving players, Cesar Azpilicueta, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Hakim Ziyech was poised to make the list of Chelsea’s first batch of players who moved to Saudi Arabia.
He was on Chelsea’s four-man list of players being targeted by Saudi clubs alongside N’Golo Kante who joined Al Ittihad, Edouard Mendy, who is keeping the sticks for Al Ahli, and Kalidou Koulibaly is now plying his trade with Al Hilal.
Ziyech was linked to a move to Al Nassr and was on the verge of completing a move to the 2023/24 Saudi Pro League runners-up before reports emerged he failed Al Nassr medical and was back to Chelsea squad.
Hakim Ziyech took to his social media handle to post a sarcastic shot of his legs, mocking the reports of the failed medical.
Meanwhile, he was off Mauricio Pochettino’s squad plans with no squad number and were training separately with the Chelsea outcasts like Romelu Lukaku and Callum Hudson-Odoi.
Galatasaray, who were once again recruiting massively, signing the likes of Wilfried Zaha from Crystal Palace, Halil Dervisoglu from Brentford, Mauri Icardi from PSG, and other top players from elite leagues in Europe, were on the trail of Ziyech.
PSG were also interested in signing Hakim Ziyech after a failed move last summer but lost the race to Galatasaray who were quick to broker an agreement with Chelsea to sign the player.
Fabrizio Romano confirmed on 18 August 2023 Chelsea and Galatasaray had reached agreement for Hakim Ziyech.
Now, the move has been completed with Ziyech ready for a new challenge in Turkish Super Lig.
Hakim Ziyech joined Chelsea in 2020 from Ajax where his career peaked. He made 107 Premier League appearances for the club, scoring 14 goals. Ziyech’s Chelsea career started to nosedive last season when he managed only 18 Premier League appearances and was obviously set to be axed from the squad in the wake of Todd Boehly’s Chelsea overhaul.
He starred for the Atlas Lions of Morocco in 2022 World Cup, starting every matches as Morocco broke the jinx to become the first African country to reach World Cup semifinal.
However, he could not replicate his brilliant World Cup outing on his return to Chelsea.
He will be hoping to return to elite level performance as he opens a new chapter with Galatasaray.