Tag Archives: Eden Hazard

Eden Hazard: Chelsea playmaker insists club does not need new strikers

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Chelsea midfielder Eden Hazard has insisted that the club does not need to buy a new striker in the January transfer window.

The Blues have already made enquires in the interest of signing several forwards with tall stature despite their age, including Roma’s Edin Dzeko, 31, West Ham’s Andy Carroll, 29, and Stoke’s Peter Crouch, 36.

However, Hazard, 27, has backed the Blues’ current pair of Alvaro Morata and Michy Batshuayi to flourish at Chelsea, instead claiming that the signing of tall target men may not fit into the Premier League champions’ style.

“I think we’re happy with the team we have. It depends how you want to play,” he said. “We have two very good strikers in Alvaro and Michy. If they are not ready to play I can play striker, so I don’t think we need [another one].”

“Football is simple — keep the ball on the ground and try [to play] like we did [against Brighton]. Because we are missing chances people are saying we need another striker, but if we are scoring goals, we are the best attack in the league and no-one can say we need a striker.”

Chelsea have scored 45 league goals this season — the same as London rivals Arsenal, but fewer than the rest of the top six Premier League sides. They are understood to be in advanced talks with Roma about a £44m deal for Bosnia striker Dzeko and left wing-back Emerson Palmieri.

But Hazard, who scored twice in his side’s 4-0 win over Brighton on Saturday, says the arrival of a big man could affect their current playing style.

“Who is the best team this year? Manchester City. The strikers, [Gabriel] Jesus and [Sergio] Aguero, are not big,” added Hazard. “It’s simple. If you want to play with long balls you need a target man, if you want to keep the ball on the floor you need a small guy.”

Thibaut Courtois and Eden Hazard close to signing new Chelsea deals

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Thibaut Courtois has said he is close to signing a new contract at Chelsea and the goalkeeper suggested while hinting that his Belgium team-mate Eden Hazard could be ready to follow suit.

Courtois, whose deal at Chelsea expires in the summer of 2019, appeared to be firm over his intention to extend at Chelsea after the club’s 2-2 draw at Arsenal on Wednesday night.

“It has just turned the new year so we will wait a few weeks and then sit around the table,” Courtois said. “I’m happy at Chelsea and a deal is close. Has it been a distraction? Not for me. I’m just calm and relaxed because I’m tied to Chelsea. Despite the rumours and everything, I am focused on Chelsea and I’m happy here.”

As for his compatriot, Eden Hazard is contracted with the Blues to 2020. While Courtois believes that the midfielder’s departure could deal a lot of hurt to the club, the keeper believes that Hazard would spend the peak years of his career at Stamford Bridge.

“Losing a player like Eden would be bad for the club,” Courtois added. “Eden is irreplaceable. With the money he will raise, you can buy five players but none of them will be like Eden. It would be like Barcelona losing Lionel Messi or Real Madrid losing Cristiano Ronaldo.”

“If you excel, there will always be teams interested in signing the biggest players. But that’s why if Chelsea have ambition to be the best club in the world, these kind of players have to stay.”

“Do Eden and I encourage each other to sign? Yes. He will say: ‘If you sign, I will sign,’ and I say the same to him. I think we are both happy at Chelsea, we both have a good part to play. We have been champions twice in the four seasons I have been here and we can have our peak years together at Chelsea.”

While Chelsea sit third in the Premier League and 16 points behind the leaders, Manchester City, Courtois remains confident that the club can finish the season with a major trophy as they advanced to the last 16 of the Champions League, where they have been drawn to face FC Barcelona.

Prediction:

Norwich City 0 — 3 Chelsea

Eden Hazard: Chelsea did not give chance to Mohamed Salah

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Eden Hazard has conceded Mohamed Salah “did not get his chance at Chelsea” as the Belgian captain prepares to meet his former club-mate on the opposing team when the Blues face Liverpool on Saturday.

The Belgian had been impressed by the impact made by the winger at Liverpool since the Egyptian’s return to England. “He is still my friend and we are still in contact,” said Hazard. “He’s a top, top, top player. He did not get his chance at Chelsea – maybe because of the manager, because of the other players? I don’t know.”

“He’s a top player, for sure, and we know as a team the quality he has. He is a fantastic striker and this season he has scored a lot of goals. It is always good to play against a friend but Liverpool is not only about Salah. They have a lot of quality players.”

Chelsea had beaten Liverpool back in January 2014 to Salah’s signature from Basel for around £11m when the Egyptian was in effect replacing the departed Juan Mata, only for him to find opportunities limited under the management of Jose Mourinho.

He only made six Premier League starts under the Portuguese, and, with his top-flight career failing to extend beyond nine hours of football he was loaned to Serie A clubs Fiorentina and Roma before making a permanent move to the Stadio Olimpico eventually.

“I watched him when he played for Roma,” Hazard added. “Now he is still at the top. And then even with his country he did well to reach the World Cup. At Liverpool he is still doing well, so I think we need to be careful with him. I want to ask him for his shirt, for sure, on Saturday.”

Chelsea will only have one training session ahead of their game against Liverpool, but with Hazard’s penalty against Qarabag in the Champions League on Wednesday coming as a sixth goal in seven matches they are in fine form. “I am feeling good, 100%,” The Belgian added. “A lot of players didn’t play on Wednesday and I played only 60 minutes and N’Golo [Kanté] also came off, so we can be fresh on Saturday, even if the game is close. We are professional; we can deal with this.”

Prediction:

Liverpool 1:3 Chelsea

Eden Hazard: It would be a dream to play for Zinedine Zidane

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Belgian forward Eden Hazard has admitted that he would welcome the chance to work with Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane, claiming that it was his “dream” to play for the World Cup winner.

Hazard has often linked with a switch to the reigning Liga champions, but Chelsea have been able to fend off any interest in their talented playmaker, with the player currently tied to terms through to 2020 at Stamford Bridge.

Still, while admitting he enjoys life with the Blues, the midfielder chose to leave the door open for a possible move to the Spanish capital by admitting that he hopes to work with Zidane on day, a man whom he admits he idolised growing up.

“Everyone knows the respect I have for the man,” Hazard said. “For the player he was and for the coach he is, he was my idol.”

“Of course I don’t know what will happen in my career in the future, but to play under him would be a dream. At this time, though, I’m happy at Chelsea. I still have a lot of things to do at Chelsea, and I’m focused on Chelsea.”

Hazard has also talked up the possibility of working with Jose Mourinho again at some stage in his career after sharing Premier League title glory under the Portuguese in 2014-15, although he was also among those accused of contributing to Mourinho’s departure from Stamford Bridge the following season.

Talks of an apparent feud between the pair was reignited during Manchester United’s recent visit to west London, with Hazard blanking the now Red Devils boss as he emerged from the tunnel — something the player denies.

“It wouldn’t bother me to play under Jose Mourinho again,” he added.

In the meantime, Hazard will attempt to help Chelsea get back on track into the 2017-18 Premier League title race, after captaining Belgium against Mexico and Japan in international friendlies this week.