Hakim Ziyech Talks Bayern Munich Rumours After Signing Ajax Contract

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 12, 2019

Hakim Ziyech of Ajax during the Dutch Eredivisie match between Ajax Amsterdam and FC Emmen at the Johan Cruijff Arena on August 10, 2019 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands(Photo by VI Images via Getty Images)
VI-Images/Getty Images

Hakim Ziyech said he could have joined Bayern Munich this summer but decided to sign a new contract with Ajax because the German club took too long to make a move. 

Ziyech signed a new deal on Friday, extending his stay in Amsterdam until 2022, amid links to the Bundesliga champions.

On the prospect of entering his fourth season with the club, he told Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad's Freek Jansen (h/t Goal's James Westwood):

"I really enjoy playing for Ajax. It feels good.

"I am sure Sevilla are a nice club, but I have always said that everything needed to be just right if I were to make a move.

"Sevilla didn't give me that feeling, so I would rather stay at Ajax. I could have waited for Bayern Munich, yeah. But it felt like the right moment to clarify my situation, both for Ajax and myself.

"If a club wanted me, they could have made their move. I think everybody's seen what we did with Ajax and what my role was in that success.

"A transfer was never the holy grail for me. If the right club doesn't come along, so be it. I signed a new deal and will definitely remain at Ajax this season."

Goal @goal

🤝 Hakim Ziyech has signed a new contract at Ajax until 2022 https://t.co/zl5abuVwt2

Last season, Ziyech played a key role in Ajax winning the Eredivisie title and enjoying a sensational run to the UEFA Champions League semi-final.

Along the way, he notched 21 goals and 24 assists in all competitions, which included contributions against Real Madrid, Juventus and Tottenham Hotspur.

It was the most prolific campaign of his career, while his assist return is indicative of a creative player:

OptaJohan @OptaJohan

358 - Hakim Ziyech created 358 chances in the Eredivisie since his debut for @AFCAjax in Sept 2016, at least 121 more than any other player. Extended. https://t.co/JcZTmhfbYu

Some of Ajax's best talents, including Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt, have been cherry-picked by other sides following their excellent campaign last season. As such, Ziyech's decision to stay put is important.

He has already impressed this season, with a goal and two assists in four matches.

On Saturday, he scored in a 5-0 win over FC Emmen, and football statistician Dave O'Brien shared the numbers behind his excellent showing:

Statman Dave @StatmanDave

Hakim Ziyech’s game by numbers vs. FC Emmen: 45/59 final third passes 7 shots (1 on target) 7 chances created 7 ball recoveries 4 tackles won 3 through balls 2 fouls won 1 goal Simply ridiculous. 🧙‍♂️🇲🇦 https://t.co/EXRAlSMgBC

The 26-year-old is at the peak of his powers, and he would likely have been a strong acquisition for Bayern on the right wing as they're in need of replacements for Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery following their departures at the end of last season.

Bayern spent much of the summer linked with Leroy Sane, but the Manchester City star will be out of action until next year with a knee injury.

With Ziyech no longer an option either, the Bavarian club will need to look elsewhere or make do with their wide options until they can try again next summer.