Last summer, when it appeared at long last that their ill-fated pursuit of Riyad Mahrez was finally dead in the water, Roma apparently made (or at least considered) a last ditch attempt at a suitable replacement, Ajax’s Moroccan attacking whiz, Hakim Ziyech. While no offer was fromally lodged far as we know, he was perhaps Roma’s best bet for a Mahrez alternative; he’s predominantly left footed and can fill a variety of roles in attack, including EDF’s coveted inverted right winger.
We poured over Ziyech’s bonafides last summer, but suffice it to say, the dude is multifaceted:
After paying his dues in the Eredivisie with Heerenveen, Twente and Ajax, an incredible stretch in which he scored 48 goals and contributed 47 assists, Ziyech is ripe for the plucking, as he has seemingly followed the typical 21st century path to greatness—light it up in Holland and then move onto larger European clubs.
To that haul we can add eight more goals and an additional eleven assists, as Ziyech is up to his usual tricks for Ajax as they desperately chase PSV Eindhoven in the Eredivisie. Hakim the Dream (that’s really the only reason I want this transfer to happen, to pay homage to Hakeem Olajuwon on a weekly basis) has been equally instrumental to the Moroccan national team, scoring two goals in six World Cup qualification appearances, not to mention a penalty in yesterday’s match against the Netherlands.
If you venture on over to his WhoScored player profile page, you get a sense of what this guy can do—literally anything, anywhere on the pitch—and if his performances for Ajax and his national team are any indication, he’s really coming into his own and better days may lie ahead. Besides, at his age and with his track record in Holland, what does he really have left to prove in that league?
So, what can one expect to pay for such a dynamic and versatile player in today’s inflated market? Well, last year we guess around €15 to €20 million, so we can reasonably assume that figure will climb well north of €25 million, if not €30 million, a price not easily reached given Roma’s financial concerns.
Whatever the case may be, if you believe these early summer transfer rumors, it appears as though Eusebio Di Francesco and Monchi have an attacking revolution in mind, meaning no one, save for Cengiz Ünder and Patrik Schick, are safe among Roma’s forwards.
Still, if money were no object, Ziyech is precisely the type of player that would make Roma deeper, more versatile and infinitely more dangerous.