Tuesday Dec 25, 2018. 11:00
Forget Tadic, Ziyech is Ajax’s best player according to van Hanegem.
Dutch football legend Willem van Hanegem says Moroccan star Hakim Ziyech is AFC Ajax’s key player, rather than Dusan Tadic.
The 74-year-old, who was part of the Netherlands squad which finished as runners-up at the 1974 World Cup and coached the likes of Feyenoord, AZ and Sparta Rotterdam in his post-playing career, was writing in a column for the Algemeen Dagblad.
He argues that Ajax will have a tough time in their UEFA Champions League last 16 tie against Real Madrid next year, but backs the Amsterdam side to challenge PSV Eindhoven for the Eredivisie title.
“Yes, I also hear the sounds that people of Ajax are now pretending to play against FC Basel or Karlsruhe,” wrote van Hanegem.
“They pretend that the brand new world champion Real Madrid [who won the Club World Cup this past weekend] will be wiped off the carpet.
“That is going to be very difficult, I fear. On the other hand, it is a good thing that they do not make a fuss at Ajax.”
The legend added that for him Ziyech is the talisman for the Ajax this season.
“The people in Amsterdam have their mouth full of Dusan Tadic, but I think Hakim Ziyech is by far the most important man at Ajax,” he wrote.
"If he can continue to put his class in the service of the team, he is really great."
Looking ahead to the title match between Ajax and PSV, van Hanegem predicts “a great fight”.