Hakim Ziyech has told Chelsea’s official website a telephone conversation with manager Frank Lampard convinced him to join the Blues.
The Moroccan international arrived at Stamford Bridge this summer from Ajax for a reported £36 million.
Chelsea had spoken to Ziyech in January but were unable to agree a deal with the Dutch club.
However, an agreement was struck soon after and the 27-year-old winger insisted Lampard’s intervention contributed a great deal to making his mind up.
‘Most important thing’
Ziyech said: “We spoke on the phone and the way he was talking about the game of football was the most important thing for me at that time.
“I come from Ajax and there we like to play football so we spoke about that and his idea of the game. After that, it was clear for me and clear that he trusted me.”
Ziyech admitted Ajax were reluctant to let him go, but Chelsea acted swiftly.
He said: “I had my options open and it was already clear I would leave in the summer, but not clear where I would go.
“In January, we spoke with the club and at that point Ajax didn’t want to sell me. But, after the winter window, it all happened really fast and everything was done in ten days.”
Ziyech and difficult Chelsea start
Ziyech became the first of six high-profile acquisitions for the Blues this summer. However, a knee injury in a pre-season friendly at Brighton delayed his involvement.
He was out of contention for the beginning of the campaign due to concerns over his injury. However, he was called up for Morocco internationals against Senegal and Democratic Republic of Congo.
Following the international break, he made his competitive debut for Chelsea last weekend against Southampton.
He then came off the bench in the side’s Champions League opener against Sevilla on Tuesday.
‘Important to get the rhythm back’
Ziyech said he believed his time on the sidelines was essential, enabling him to work back to full fitness.
“I’ve not played for a while and the injury came at an unlucky time for me so it’s important to get the rhythm back and build up everything again,” he said.
“I know it will take some time but the most important thing is to come back with 100 per cent fitness. I am working hard to do that.”
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