In pictures: Arsenal v Tottenham
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Former Tottenham icon Rafael van der Vaart has called out his old side for failing to rival Chelsea for the signing of Hakim Ziyech back in 2020. The Moroccan has gone on to have a difficult time at Stamford Bridge, while Spurs could certainly use a player of his creative calibre to combat the torrid run of form they currently find themselves in.
Ziyech has made six Chelsea appearances this season, scoring once, although only two of those games were in the Premier League.
So far, Kai Havertz and Mason Mount have laid claim to the starting spots either side of Romelu Lukaku in Chelsea’s attack.
Ziyech has a wand of a left foot and has often been deployed on the right flank by Thomas Tuchel, although solid runs in the team have been hard to come by.
Van der Vaart had quite the left peg of his own, and he feels as though Ziyech could have been better served by heading to north London rather than Chelsea.
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“With hindsight, it’s easy, but I think it was a wrong choice,” he told Ziggo Sport.
“I hope he still fully blossoms, but if he had gone to Tottenham, for example. They are lacking a player like him.
“He played very well at Ajax and did the same against Tottenham. Just take him then.
“With a player like that, Tottenham are title contenders, and they’re not now because they have all the same kind of players. It was a pity he went to Chelsea.”
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Van der Vaart was a sensation at Spurs, netting 28 goals across 77 games in dazzling fashion, while a lengthy spell at Ajax is something he shares in common with Ziyech.
Chelsea’s 28-year-old notched almost 100 goals in Dutch football, but he has not been a natural fit in Tuchel’s system since the German began steering the Blues towards success.
Fierce competition for spots on the wing with Christian Pulisic, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Timo Werner, Havertz and Mount are making it difficult for Ziyech to make his mark.
At present, Spurs could certainly do with a player like him on the right wing to turn their season’s fortunes around.
They currently have options like Steven Bergwijn and Lucas Moura, and although Bryan Gil looks like one for the future, there is still a vacancy for someone with star quality to complete the formidable attacking trio with Heung-min Son and Harry Kane.
A boost like that would be welcomed in light of Nuno Espirito Santo’s difficult start to life in the Spurs dugout.
After a devastating loss to Arsenal on Sunday, they became the second team in Premier League history to win their first three games of the season and then lose the next three.
The last team to repeat that feat was Everton in 1993/94 and they went on to finish 17th. The north London side will certainly hope for much better than that this season.
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