Chelsea's Eden Hazard dropped for Europa League game to manage minutes

Adjust Comment Print

Chelsea FC are sitting at the top of the Premier League table following five games ahead of their trip to West Ham United.

It seemed his departure was inevitable when, after Belgium's World Cup third-place playoff win over England, he said: "After six wonderful years at Chelsea it might be time to discover something different".

Eden Hazard was omitted from the Chelsea squad that travelled to Greece before their Europa League meeting with PAOK Salonika on Thursday evening after personally telling Maurizio Sarri, the manager, that he is battling tiredness.

Maurizio Sarri indicated he could rest the Belgium worldwide after he scored a hat-trick in Saturday's Premier League defeat of Cardiff City at Stamford Bridge. "We gave them the chance to be more aggressive".

The former Liverpool defender said that, while Kevin De Bruyne and Mohamed Salah were the league's best performers last season, Hazard has been consistently the best player in the division over the last couple of years. "Always I was happy at Chelsea", Willian said to reporters. "I think if Hazard gets injured, they really are overly reliant on him", Barnes said on BeIN Sports, "If he drops form and he doesn't score, he's not an out and out scorer". I should say that, I think he should have won player of the tournament. But I want to clarify I feel I am more of a field manager, a pitch manager than a general manager.

Hazard's best return for an individual season is 16 goals after the Belgium global fired Conte's side to the Premier League title in 2016-17. "No, he's too strong".

Indeed, Hazard's future at Chelsea appears to rest on the club finishing in the Premier League top four though the early signs are encouraging.

Pep Guardiola's first season in charge of the Sky Blues began with a bang as they racked up six consecutive wins to kick off the new era in style, including a 2-1 victory over city rivals, Manchester United at Old Trafford.