AC Milan continue to be heavily linked with a move for Chelsea forward Hakim Ziyech and they have been encouraged to go for him by his former coach.
After winning the Scudetto last season, Milan head into 2022-23 in need of strengthening the squad in order to balance the tricky task of defending the title and going further in the Champions League, something you can bet on with a BoyleSports sign up offer.
Ziyech could be the man to help do that, and Rene Hake – a man who knows him very well as his coach during his time at FC Twente – spoke to La Gazzetta dello Sport about the Rossoneri’s interest in the Moroccan.
What kind of a signing would he be for Milan? “Total. He on the right, Leao on the left and one between Ibra, Giroud and Origi in front. Goals for everyone. Hakim is the perfect assist man.”
Is he better as a No.10 or as a winger? “Indifferent. With me he played on the right and produced dozens of assists. I remember one of them cutting the field almost standing still, thirty metres. Ziyech is special: he has dribbling and creativity. Sometimes he won games alone.”
The best game under your management? “Many. I can’t choose one. Despite the age of 22 he took over the team as a captain. He has a driving personality. He doesn’t really talk much, in one season I will have seen him make few speeches, but on the pitch he is a leader.”
What kind of character was he? “Impatient. He was never 100% satisfied with himself, he always wanted the best, and when he couldn’t get it, he pouted. I remember a boy who spent more hours trying shots and free kicks, alone in the middle of the field at the end of training. Every week like this.”
And hard work pays off in the end? “When he signed with Ajax I told him ‘now go and show who you are’. It has always been decisive. Players like him, with something inside, always manage to emerge. I hope he can reach Serie A.”
Where do you see him in Pioli’s 4-2-3-1? “On the centre-right, but he can also play the attacking midfielder. With Van Basten he played there, then at Twente, Ajax and Chelsea he stabilised on the wing and it was his luck. One like this can play anywhere, however, no matter where or how.”
Pros and cons? “Touch of the ball, dribbling and vision of the game. Kick the free kicks too. He loves to force the game, however, perhaps too much, but the risk is part of him.”
Does he remind you of anyone in particular? “He has Guti’s touch of the ball, but they are different. The Spaniard was less offensive, but if we talk about quality, inspiration and the famous risk, then we are.”