Hakim Ziyech’s lack of Chelsea playing time explained by Thomas Tuchel

Chelsea: Tuchel gives Blues team news

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Thomas Tuchel has held himself responsible for Hakim Zyiech’s recent lack of playing time. The Morocco winger joined the club in the summer from Ajax but Chelsea fans were made to wait to see him in action due to a knee injury.

Ziyech didn’t disappoint, and registered three assists and scored one in his first four Premier League starts.

A hip injury disrupted his fine form and ruled him out for most of December. Returning against Manchester City in January, the 27-year-old was been unable to replicate the form he showed previously.

Ziyech’s last league game was also Tuchel’s first – against Wolves. Bar the FA Cup win over Barnsley, following the 0-0 draw Ziyech has not been included in the squad once and has failed to get off the bench a further three times.

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With plenty of competition in his area of the pitch, Tuchel has now explained why the winger has received so few minutes.

“It is my fault, it is my decision,” said the German. “For Hakim and some other players here are hard decisions to make, it is a good thing because it means we have quality.

“There are some decisions for other players that means Hakim suffers at the moment, I can understand so it is my responsibility in this case that he cannot show more. When I look at the rhythm and schedule for the next days I am sure we will need all of our players.”

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Another forward who has struggled of late is Christian Pulisic. The American has also seen a lack of pitch time since Tuchel’s arrival and will likely miss the Southampton fixture at the weekend.

“It is our job to bring the best out of him,” said Tuchel of Pulisic. “It is a challenge now to hold his level, to improve and maintain it. We are not worried or concerned, the medical department is on that.

“He stopped training yesterday, I would not say it is an injury, it is just risk management that relies on his history. The main thing for Christian is to stay positive.”

One man, however, who is starting to blossom under Tuchel is Timo Werner. After a rough start the German striker is beginning to show signs of why he was so sought after.

“Timo has had a good start, very clinical and efficient start under Frank,” said the Blues boss.

“My opinion was that he is a big plus and for Timo to join the club with the connection to Frank. Live every player, a change of clubs and environments, culture, clubs, take its time. I can only speak hypothetical now but I think Timo is gaining day by day with confidence, I saw the goal coming.”

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