Chelsea’s African star left out of AFCON squad after row with manager
Chelsea star Hakim Ziyech hasn’t been called to take part in the AFCON tournament for Morocco
According to Football.London, Chelsea star Hakim Ziyech didn’t get a call-up from Morocco national football team to participate in the African Cup of Nations tournament in 2022.
Hakim Ziyech hasn’t been able to replicate his Ajax form with Chelsea. The Moroccan international has barely provided any convincing performances lately and fell down the pecking order under Thomas Tuchel. The 28-year-old has only managed to amass three goals and four assists in 18 matches across all competitions in this campaign, of which just 6 starts have been in the league.
Hakim Ziyech wasn’t included in the team that the Moroccan national side announced for the AFCON. The 28-year-old has 40 appearances and 17 goals to his name for his country, but it seems he won’t be getting the chance to showcase his talent in the African Cup of Nations tournament.
However, this might be a piece of good news for Chelsea, who have been struggling with injury and Covid concerns in recent times. Callum Hudson-Odoi recently tested positive for the Covid-19. Even though he is available for the Aston Villa clash, it’d be a risk to start him after a break in his regular training sessions.
In recent times, Thomas Tuchel has been pushed to take such risks amid the absence of fit legs in the squad. N’Golo Kanté and Mateo Kovačić were put into the team after their recovery from their respective injuries. The German manager even had to call up academy players for the Blues’ Carabao cup clash against Brentford.
Even though Ziyech hasn’t been up to the task in the current season, Thomas Tuchel has had no choice but to play him amid the absence of players such as Kai Havertz. If we didn’t have the African winger in our team during that spell, things would have been even grimmer.
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Therefore, the national team exclusion could significantly boost Thomas Tuchel’s intentions to tackle the busty festive schedule. The 28-year-old midfielder’s return to form would bode well for him and his club.
Although it doesn’t seem like it is his form that has seen him excluded from the AFCON tournament. It is claimed that he has been left out after a row with national team coach Vahid Halilhodzic. The tournament starts in Cameroon on January 9 and concludes on February 9.
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