HAKIM ZIYECH admits Frank Lampard sent him constant texts to convince him to join Chelsea.
The Moroccan playmaker, 26, has agreed a £36.7million switch as Lampard looks to bolster his attacking options.
In his first interview since agreeing to join the Blues in the summer, Ziyech – known as the wizard – revealed the influence manager Lampard had on the future move.
He told the Chelsea website: “A big role. We had a lot of contact in the last couple of weeks.
“At first it was mainly on the phone and later we texted quite a lot.
“He gave me a good feeling and that was also big to do with the decision.
“[I am] happy, proud, I am excited and I cannot wait.
“Chelsea is a big club in a big competition. I like the style of play, they play really attacking football, and that is something that fits me and that is one of the biggest reasons I chose therefore.”
The Blue to be played a big role in Ajax’s away Champions League fixture at Stamford Bridge this season – picking up the man-of-the-match award in the 4-4 draw.
He provided three assists as the nine-man Amsterdam side did well to walk away with a point after Daley Blind and Joel Veltman received red cards.
Ziyech has netted eight goals in 32 appearances so far this season and his 21 assists mean he is one of the hottest properties in Europe.
The Dutch-born Moroccan explained what his aims are for the remainder of the season with Ajax.
He added: “First of all to enjoy it with the people here, the team-mates and the people we work with, the trainers and everybody around the club. The most important is to enjoy it and win the trophies we have to win.”
Ziyech, who is often deployed on the right flank, has been with Ajax since 2016, signing for around £9m.
Since then he’s gone on to rack up 162 appearances for the Amsterdam club, scoring 48 goals and providing 82 assists in all competitions.
The talent played a key role in Ajax’s Champions League run last season defeating favourites Real Madrid and Juventus before famously missing out on the final after a 96th-minute winner from Tottenham’s Lucas Moura.
It is yet to be seen what the new signing means for Chelsea with ageing wingers Willian and Pedro’s contracts due to expire at the end of the season.
Despite the incoming arrival of Ziyech, Chelsea are still interested in signing Borussia Dortmund sensation Jadon Sancho.
Both men are commonly deployed on the flanks, although Ziyech can also be utilised as an attacking midfielder.