‘Ziyech a born captain and ready to lead Blues’ – Mokhtar full of praise for departing Ajax starlet


A former team-mate of Ziyech from his days at Twente, Mokhtar has witnessed the playmaker’s abilities first-hand and emphasized his leadership qualities as he bids farewell to Ajax.

Youness Mokhtar has tipped Hakim Ziyech to becoming a leading figure at his new club Chelsea, even going as far as claiming that he has the potential to be a captain in London. The Blues had already acquired Ziyech’s services in a deal worth up to €40 million (£33m/$43m) and will now be looking forward to be able to count on the creative winger.

Ziyech has been part of Ajax’s setup since 2016 and has represented them on 111 league occasions, lifting the domestic title and cup last season. Mokhtar, who played with Ziyech at Twente, lauded his strengths and applauded Chelsea on the move.

“The guy is a machine. He makes things happen and leads his team through thick and through thin. When things go bad, he tries to lead the way and improve everyone around him. He is also a very honest guy so you have to be honest with him, and a nice person as well. He should have no trouble adapting at his new club,” Mokhtar concluded during a interview with football.london.

Mokhtar praises Hakim Ziyech ahead of Chelsea switch
The Morrocan star has been prolific for Ajax since joining in 2018. Copyright: imago images / VI Images

Top News 2: 'We are extremely lucky to have him' - Gomez hails presence of Reds captain Henderson

Gomez praises club captain Henderson
The two England internationals have played a big part in changing Liverpool's fortunes. Copyright: imago images / Action Plus

The often overlooked captain has seen his praises being sung by international and club team-mate Joe Gomez as the bulky centre-back lavished plaudits toward him.

Liverpool defender Gomez says that the Anfield side are lucky to have the Henderson as their leading figure, as he unites the squad both on and off the pitch with his attitude and dedication. The Reds defender also concedes that their skipped does not receive the recognition he often deserves.

Jordan Henderson, 29, joined the Merseyside club in 2011 from Sunderland and has already racked up 264 Premier League appearances, while he has also taken up Gerrard’s mantle as Liverpool‘s captain in the meantime. Success followed shortly after, with his team becoming European champions and on course for a much-awaited domestic league title after 30 years.

Gomez was quick to point out his relationship with Henderson: “He’s like a brother, we are honored to have a person like him leading us. He is always there, always setting an example for us and he’s been able to unite us in many different ways, so I am glad he is now getting the attention he clearly deserves,” he said to Liverpool’s official website.

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Top News 3: Massimo Cellino resigned to losing Super Mario

Cellino resigned to losing Mario Balotelli
The enigmatic forward has notched 5 goals in 19 Serie A appearances in a mixed season so far. Copyright: imago images / Gribaudi/ImagePhoto

The mercurial forward’s career at the Mario Rigamonti Stadium appears all but over, as their club president looks resigned to losing the former Manchester City star this summer.

Brescia supremo Massimo Cellino is not hopeful of retaining Mario Balotelli’s services for much longer, as he expects that the forward will depart at the end of the season.

Balotelli has been a controversial figure ever since he stepped onto the football stage and a nomadic career to date has taken him through spells with Inter, Milan, Manchester City and Liverpool among others. He has not been able to settle anywhere due to his perceived lack of focus and tendency to let his volatile nature get the better of him.

A dream return to hometown club Brescia was mooted as the move to revive the struggling Italian’s career, but it has so failed to pay dividends for both the club and player, as the Serie A side are rooted at the bottom of the table while “Super Mario” has failed to show his full potential.

Now, Brescia’s owner Cellino spoke openly about the issue, adding to Telelombardia: “As things look right now, Mario will be a free agent shortly. We are deeply disappointed with him and were not hoping for this outcome when we brought him back. But I guess that’s just the way he is – he brings a little chaos with him wherever he goes, right?”

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