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By The Atlas Lions, Dec 6 2018 03:10PM

(Africanfootball.com) AFC Ajax midfielder Hakim Ziyech may be regarded as one of the best on-field stars of the Eredivisie, but he has come in for criticism in regards to his dealings with the media.


The Moroccan playmaker has been branded dour and sullen for the way he comes across in interviews, which is a strange irony given that his playing style is so exciting.


Yet Ziyech’s teammates at both international and club level have come to the defence of the 25-year-old, insisting that his media persona hides a man with a great sense of humour.


"I sometimes hear people say that he should be happier, he would laugh too little in interviews, for example, then I think he does not have to be a clown, some feel the need to hang the clown in front of the camera. Is not that right?" Morocco teammate Nordin Amrabat told ELF Football.


"In addition, Hakim laughs enough. Believe me. He has a lot of humour," added Amrabat, whose words are echoed by Ziyech’s Ajax teammate and fellow Moroccan international Noussair Mazraoui.


"If you do not know what he is, Hakim will not give in,” explained the 21-year-old right-back.


“If he does not like something, he says so, he does not let himself play with him, and if he is attacked, he defends himself, and not everyone dares [to do this].


"He did, [and] unfortunately people wrongfully applied the label ‘arrogant’."


Ziyech is set to feature for Ajax in their Eredivisie clash away to PEC Zwolle on Saturday night.

By The Atlas Lions, Dec 1 2018 10:49PM

(Africanfootball.com) AFC Ajax assistant coach Alfred Schreuder says a player such as Moroccan star Hakim Ziyech should be cherished in the Eredivisie.


Ziyech has enjoyed a superb 2018/19 season thus far, helping Ajax to second place on the Dutch top-flight log (behind reigning champions PSV Eindhoven) and qualification to the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League with a game to spare.


Schreuder, who is Erik ten Hag’s right-hand man at the Amsterdam club spoke of the Atlas Lions attacking midfielder in in glowing terms to EFL Votebal Magazine.


“He [Ziyech] has an incredible anticipatory ability. Both with and without the ball. That is football, almost something you cannot train,” Schreuder explained.


“And do not forget: he not only makes many metres [covers a lot ground], but also a lot of those metres at high speed. We measure that at Ajax.


“Hakim is very serious about his profession. This is also evident from the fact that he always wants to be decisive. He wants to distinguish himself. We must cherish such players in the Netherlands.”


Schreuder also revealed Ziyech’s growing maturity, with the player putting the team first when relinquishing the number 10 jersey to new signing Dusan Tadic earlier this year.


“Hakim has also solved that [issue] excellently. Especially as the way it went was bothering him,” said the Ajax assistant.


“But outwardly he has made no problem at all. He also did not blame Dusan. Together they have solved it very nicely. That marks the development that Ziyech has gone through.”


By The Atlas Lions, Nov 12 2018 08:46AM

The Morocco international extended his goalscoring run in the Dutch Eredivisie with an effort at the Van Donge & De Roo Stadion


Hakim Ziyech contributed a goal and an assist as Ajax thrashed Excelsior 7-1 on Sunday.


The 25-year-old maintained his fine form for the Johan Cruyff Arena outfit with his fifth goal in his last six league outings.


In the 79th minute, the Atlas Lions’ playmaker benefitted from Nicolas Tagliafico's assist to register his seventh league goal of the season before setting David Neres up for Ajax's last goal in the encounter.


Ziyech, Noussair Mazraoui and Andre Onana who made Goal Africa Team of the Month for October were on parade for Erik ten Hag's men as they help extend the unbeaten run to 11 games across all competitions.


Ajax, placed second in the Dutch top-flight standings, continue to pile pressure on leaders PSV.





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