Hakim Ziyech's stock rises again after Spurs victory

Hakim Ziyech
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A man in demand

It's been an absolutely magnificent season for Ajax. The Eredivise leaders have shattered a whole host of records and unearthed some new stars in the process under the guidance of Erik ten Hag.

The 49 year-old, in his second season in Amsterdam, has developed likes of Donny van de Beek, Matthijs De Ligt and Frenkie De Jong (along with several others) into some of the most sought after players in world football.

There's bound to be plenty of interest in their fantastic young squad and they're going to have a real fight to retain them. De Ligt and De Jong have been the most talked about, but there's one slightly more experienced man who's become a real lynchpin of this vibrant side.

Hakim Ziyech
This has been the most productive year of Ziyech's career and it hasn't gone unnoticed amongst Europe's big guns

25 year-old Morocco international Hakim Ziyech is in his third season at the Johan Cruyff ArenA after making a £10m move from FC Twente, where he's become a key player. He's known for his technical ability and versatility, but under ten Hag he's displayed true grit and determination to make him vital cog in their fluid frontline.

Comfortable out wide and through the middle, ZIyech's energy and intelligence makes him a real asset to this Ajax side and his displays certainly wouldn't have gone unnoticed. He's improved year-on-year since moving to the Dutch capital and this year he's hit a career high tally of goals - 20 in all competitions.

4 of which have come in the Champions League and this is where he's really impressed everyone. The Eredivise isn't the most prestigious of European footballs top divisions but by doing his thing on the biggest stage of all, he's really made others take note.

It's bound to be big end to the season and summer for him & just to add a little fuel to the fire, he reportedly has a very affordable release clause...

£25m release clause

Years ago release clauses were put in a players contract as something of a deterrent, but with the mega money now floating around in the game they are often demanded by parent clubs in exchange for their prized assets.

In Ziyech's case this is no different, the deal that the 25 year-old penned with Ajax back in 2016 included one and it's getting a lot of talk at the moment. He's reportedly available at a cut price £25m this summer which is bound to get a significant amount of interest from clubs around the continent.

A move to the Premier League is being widely reported and you can't help but feel that he's ready to make the step up from the Eredivise to England. He's improved year-on-year since moving to Amsterdam and at £25m, he's certainly affordable for at least 70% of the clubs in the top flight.

Manchester United, Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal have all been linked with a potential transfer and you really feel that his technical attributes, coupled with his engine and eye for goal would make him a real hit for any of them. Check out this for an absolutely peach of a pass - mouth watering.

At the age of 25, he's now approaching the peak years of his career and the numbers back that up. In 45 matches this season he's contributed 38 goals (20G 18A), along with delivering magnificent performances against the likes of Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Juventus and of course Tottenham on Tuesday night in the Champions League.

He's a man for the big stage which he once again backed up in North London against Spurs, delivering a precise through ball for Donny van de Beek to place home to give Ajax a slender semi-final first leg victory.

That showcased the attacking side to his game, but as the 90 minutes progressed he had to dig in and do his defensive bit for the team, along with providing an outlet on the counter attack. Scouts would've been in attendance at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and they would've liked what they saw.

Worth a punt?

Release clause or no release clause, this guy would definitely be in demand this summer. Ziyech's constant improvement and willingness to learn has made him one of European footballs most sought after properties and now at the age of 25, he looks like he's ready to make the step up.

His numbers make hugely impressive reading and that reported release clause will surely have alarm bells ringing at clubs around continent. Ziyech would improve any side in Europe and Ajax have a real battle on their hands to retain him.

If this is his last season at the Johan Cruyff ArenA (which looks highly unlikely) he'll be desperate to leave on a high and he could potentially depart fresh from winning an unprecedented treble - the first part of which is on offer in the KNVB Bekker Final on Sunday against Willem II.

Hakim Ziyech Daley Blind
Winning the treble would be the perfect end to Ziyech's spell in Amsterdam

As for a potential destination for him, we'd love to see him move to the Premier League and we believe he could make a massive impact at Manchester United or Chelsea (should their transfer ban get suspended). At Old Trafford he'd be guaranteed a starting berth and he'd be a fantastic fit in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's counter attacking system. His vision would lead to plenty of goals for their attacking players and we could see him really succeeding there.

The same can be said of a move to Chelsea. The Blues are expected to lose star man Eden Hazard to Real Madrid this summer and despite Christian Pulisic arriving from Borussia Dortmund, the Belgian will like a massive hole in their attack. A move for Ziyech wouldn't cost too much considering they'd get around £100m for Hazard so it makes sense to gamble on him.

But either way, we're in for an exciting summer transfer window and we're expecting this mans to be one of the most in-demand. Let the merry-go-round begin...

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