Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag believes Hakim Ziyech must ‘play every week’ after a reunion with the Chelsea star.
United confirmed their place in next season’s Champions League with a 4-1 victory over the Blues at Old Trafford with Ziyech coming off the bench for a brief cameo in the last 10 minutes.
At full-time, ten Hag approached the winger who he managed at Ajax with the duo sharing a few words and hugging as they left the pitch together.
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The Morocco international also swapped shirts with the Red Devils full-back Tyrell Malacia before heading down the tunnel.
Asked about his discussion with Ziyech, ten Hag later told Viaplay: ‘That is between Hakim and me. We have experienced a lot together, beautiful things. There is a bond for life.’
Ziyech was part of the Ajax team managed by ten Hag that reached the semi-finals of the Champions League during the 2018-19 campaign, winning the Eredivisie the same year.
In 2020, he signed for Chelsea but has struggled to replicate his previous form in London, limited to just nine starts for the Blues this season in what has been a disappointing campaign for the club.
The 30-year-old was on the brink of joining Paris Saint-Germain during the January window only for the move to collapse at the very last minute.
Ziyech is among the Chelsea players expected to leave this summer with ten Hag saying his former player must be at a club where he is a first-team regular.
‘He has to play every week,’ ten Hag continued. ‘A footballer like that, in the prime of his life, must be on the pitch.’
Ten Hag was interested in signing Ziyech for Manchester United during last summer’s transfer window.
The Dutchman made the winger a priority signing as the club initially struggled to agree a fee with Ajax for Antony, who later joined the club in an £85m deal.
His efforts to bring the Chelsea attacker to Old Trafford were blocked by the board, however.