Man United signing this red-hot African star would make them lethal in the attack – Solskjaer must get him

Opinion: Signing Hakim Ziyech would make Man United lethal in the attack

Back in May, Manchester United and Arsenal were put on red alert after Ajax sporting director Marc Overmars had confirmed Hakim Ziyech will leave in the summer. (h/t The Sun)

Hakim Ziyech, 26, was linked with Europe’s elite clubs in the summer but he decided to remain in Amsterdam.

The Moroccan international has become a force to reckon with over the three years that he has been with Ajax but the last two seasons, in particular, have seen him become a major influential figure at the club, having been named as their Player of the Year at the end of each of the two campaigns.

Last season saw him record his best-ever tally as a senior footballer, with Ziyech boasting a return of 21 goals and 24 assists in 49 appearances across all competitions. He is one of the Ajax players who was influential in their run to the Champions League semi-finals last season.

Ajax's Hakim Ziyech was selected as one of the 20 best players in the UEFA Champions League for the 2018–19 season. (Getty Images)
Ajax’s Hakim Ziyech was selected as one of the 20 best players in the UEFA Champions League for the 2018–19 season. (Getty Images)

The Netherlands youth international has continued his excellent form into the new season, in which he has scored 6 goals and created 14 – including three against Chelsea in the Champions League.

With Ziyech impressive again in Ajax colours this season, Manchester United must reignite their interest in the player when the transfer window reopens in January.

Manchester United have had several injuries to deal with and the departures of Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku were always going to have an impact, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is paying the price for not signing a playmaker. The Red Devils have struggled royally this season in the bottom half of the table.

If Solskjaer’s men continue to underperform, there’s little chance that they’ll be able to seriously challenge for a top-four finish. Given the inconsistency of United’s attacking stars so far this season, it would be wise for the Norwegian to reinforce the attack in the January transfer window. And Hakim Ziyech would be the right fit at Old Trafford.

Ajax's Moroccan midfielder Hakim Ziyech fights for the ball with Lille's Brazilian defender Gabriel dos Santos Magalhaes (R) during the UEFA Champions league Group H football match between Ajax FC Amsterdam and LOSC Lille, at the Johan Cruijff Arena, in Amsterdam. (Getty Images)
Ajax’s Moroccan midfielder Hakim Ziyech fights for the ball with Lille’s Brazilian defender Gabriel dos Santos Magalhaes (R) during the UEFA Champions League Group H football match between Ajax FC Amsterdam and LOSC Lille, at the Johan Cruijff Arena, in Amsterdam. (Getty Images)

The Red Devils are bereft of a natural right-wing option, which has ultimately affected their attacking output for a number of years. Ziyech is thus, a viable target, who could provide the best years of his career to them.

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Solskjaer’s pressing style will suit the Moroccan as he is creative and is not afraid to put in a tireless shift for his team at both ends of the pitch. He excels at interchanging passes with others around him and is also quite effective when picking out a killer pass in the final third.

In the video below, one could see Ziyech’s quality in the final third and his ability to score goals.

Verdict

Acquiring the services of an attacking playmaker like Ziyech will undeniably add some much-needed creativity and fluidity to Solskjaer’s attack. Hence, United should consider making a move to bring the 26-year-old to Old Trafford in January.

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Written by Rohan Sengupta

Hi, I am Rohan Sengupta from one of the busiest cities in India, Mumbai. A Journalism graduate with a keen interest in sports, football is something I simply cannot live without and writing, discussing and analyzing the game is what I do 24*7.
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