Pat Nevin has been blown away by Hakim Ziyech and ‘did not expect’ the Chelsea summer signing to be this good.
The Blues reached an agreement with Ajax to sign Ziyech in February but the Morocco international did not arrive at Stamford Bridge until the summer.
Ziyech missed Chelsea’s start to the season through injury but has featured frequently since the international break and scored in his last two appearances, helping Frank Lampard’s side beat Burnley in the Premier League and Krasnodar in the Champions League.
Nevin told Chelsea’s official website: ‘For all that defensive improvement over the past month, the one thing over the past week that has knocked me out has been the performance of Hakim Ziyech.
‘In two games he has proved to be an even better player than I thought he was, and I thought he was very good anyway.
‘That ability to see crucial through balls and be able to play them at the right time and the right pace in between packed defences is something we really needed to add to our arsenal.
‘His pass to Timo Werner for the third goal was an overlooked moment of genius. Anyone from Kevin De Bruyne to Cesc Fabregas would have been proud of that assist.’
Nevin, who made 193 appearances for Chelsea, added: ‘It wasn’t his only moment of fabulous vision. The two goals in two games had the look of a natural finisher about them.
‘He doesn’t panic when he is in the box, he is in total control of the situation, a sure sign of a very good player.
‘Again I will be honest and admit that I wasn’t expecting that level of work-rate, but it looks very much like the right team spirit is in his make-up and it is not just the early efforts of a new player trying to impress.’
Ziyech scored his first Premier League goal on Saturday as Chelsea clinched a routine 3-0 victory at Burnley.
Speaking after the win, Ziyech said: ‘It’s been a good week for me. Hopefully we can continue. I feel good and feel at home. Everything is fine.
‘Especially after European games it’s always difficult. I think we had a good game, started well and didn’t really have problems at all.
‘Burnley had one chance at the beginning, but after that we controlled the game. You need to play with confidence and not be afraid to make mistakes. Otherwise it won’t go how it’s supposed to go.
‘Every week we make steps. Let’s keep it that way.’