Chelsea Why Eden Hazard will be a Success at Chelsea Published 6 years ago on May 31, 2012 By Chris Linnell Share Tweet On Monday night, Eden Hazard finally announced to his footballing fans that he will be joining Chelsea from Lille this summer. The 21-year-old attacker spent months batting his eyelids at Premier League clubs, whether via Twitter or in interviews. Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester City and Manchester United were all praised as worthy contenders for his signature before he decided on a move to Stamford Bridge. The Manchester clubs, in particular, will be frustrated to have missed out on a player they both made their target for the summer transfer window. Chelsea may have won the Champions League but they finished 25 points adrift in sixth place in the Premier League last season. The promise of regular football, their place in next season’s Champions League and the lure of London were all factors in Hazard’s decision to move to Stamford Bridge. But, in truth, it appears they were supplementary considerations to the vast riches on offer. In the end, it seems Chelsea were the only club prepared to accept Hazard’s expensive terms as Blues owner Roman Abramovich looked for a stellar signing to kick-start a rejuvenation of the squad this summer. The total cost of the Hazard deal will be around £90 million over the course of his five-year deal. Hazard at Chelsea Chelsea’s triumphant win over Bayern Munich two weeks ago looks to have more and more impact on the growth of the club. But it also could have tipped the balance of the Premier League back in the Blues’ favor. Hazard, of course, would provide Chelsea with the dynamic wing play they lacked all season. Players like Daniel Sturridge, Salomon Kalou and Ramires were filling in on the wings out of their natural position and at times it showed. It was their lack of decision-making over lack of skill that really hurt the team, passing when they should shoot and more so shooting when they should have passed. They also struggled mightily when isolated on the wing, not able to work themselves out of tight positions leading to dead possessions and turnovers. With Hazard, this would be a worry of the past as these are the facets he excels in. He would be the perfect complement to both the striker and other attacking players such as Juan Mata and Frank Lampard. Why He’ll Be a Star in the Premier League Despite his hefty cost, there’s no doubt that Hazard will add another dimension to Chelsea and the English Premier League. The midfielder truly is the real deal. He has improved his speed across the ground and built up his frame that has seen him play over 100 consecutive games for Lille, while being the most fouled player in Europe’s top divisions. He possesses lighting pace and agility that allows him to take on and go past defenders with ease. Comparisons with Lionel Messi and Crisitano Ronaldo would not be an exaggeration. His close control and ability to quickly change direction make him a huge threat for opposition defences. He is also a dead-ball specialist, and has been known to score from this type of opportunity. Considering Lille lost a number of key players at the start of the season, namely Yohan Cabaye and Gervinho, Hazard has stepped up and carried his team to the very top of the league table. This campaign the Belgian scored 20 goals in 38 games and contributed with 16 assists. During Lille’s last two seasons some have questioned Hazard’s ability to make a difference in the big games, but as the season came to a close his performance against Paris Saint-Germain answered any of his critics. After going a goal behind Hazard became the catalyst in his side’s come back and set up the winning goal with an audacious piece of skill. There is no doubt he is an extremely talented player who has the confidence to display his ability. Hazard has long been considered one of the most exciting young talents in European football. He could one day be considered one of the best players in the world; he may fire Chelsea to even further success both domestically and in Europe. Personally, I think Hazard is a fantastic capture for Chelsea and I cannot wait until his first game at Stamford Bridge. I’m sure he’ll be a huge success! Please comment with your thoughts and opinions. Related Topics: Up Next Could Nani be quitting United? Chris Linnell Chris is the founder of The Boot Room. He is a Swindon Town supporter, having lived in Wiltshire for most of his years. His work has also featured on Squawka, Bleacher Report and Eurosport. Continue Reading You may like Chelsea Chelsea 0-0 Leicester City: Three talking points from Stamford Bridge Published 6 days ago on January 14, 2018 By Rob Meech Photo: Reuters Chelsea remain winless in 2018 after Antonio Conte’s misfiring charges recorded their third successive goalless draw. Despite having a numerical advantage for the final 20 minutes following Ben Chilwell’s red card, the Blues could not find a winning goal against a Leicester City side that enjoyed prolonged spells of dominance. Chelsea have now played more than 270 minutes of football in all competitions without scoring and have dropped to fourth place in the Premier League table as a result of Liverpool’s victory over Manchester City. Leicester remain eighth and continue their good form since Claude Puel’s appointment as manager. Here are three talking points… Chelsea’s goal scoring problems are mounting Much has been written about Alvaro Morata’s goalscoring drought, which extended to five matches after he failed to register a single effort in this clash, but Chelsea’s goalscoring issues go much deeper. Since the 2-2 draw against Arsenal on January 3, the Blues have failed to find the back of the net. None of the top six clubs have scored fewer than Chelsea’s current tally of 41 Premier League goals for the season. There is no doubt the burden has rested heavily on Morata and when he was in fine form during the first few months of the campaign, Chelsea were often rampant. But the Spaniard’s barren spell has coincided with a downturn in the Blues’ effectiveness. The problem for Conte is he has little faith in back-up striker Michy Batshuayi. There is no other obvious candidate to act as the focal point, although the Italian has previously experimented with a false number nine. Defensively, Chelsea are very solid, but that counts for little when they fail to score. Leicester grab a point despite Chilwell’s red It’s not often a player receives two yellow cards in a matter of minutes, but that’s exactly the fate that befell Leicester’s Ben Chilwell. After being cautioned for a foul on Willian, the Leicester man then received a second booking only five minutes later for bringing down Victor Moses. Both fouls were fairly innocuous and Chilwell’s dismissal disrupted the Foxes’ performance, which had threatened to claim all three points at Stamford Bridge. Leicester boss Puel was critical of Mike Jones’ decision to send off Chilwell, which may have come under more scrutiny had Chelsea gone on to win the game. As it was, the visitors held out for a point, which was the least they deserved. Jamie Vardy twice went close to breaking the deadlock and Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois had to be alert throughout. This was definitely not a rearguard display – Leicester created numerous chances and were keen to take the game to their high-flying opponents. Tiredness to blame – Conte Chelsea boss Conte blamed tiredness for his side’s failure to win for the fourth game in a row. This fixture came just three days after their Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against Arsenal, amid a run of seven games in 21 days. The Blues return to action again against Norwich City for an FA Cup third round replay on Wednesday night. In total, Chelsea will play eight games in January after playing nine in December. There’s no doubt it is a punishing schedule, but Chelsea are not alone in that regard. A club with their squad depth should be able to cope. Conte has rotated his squad, particularly for the cup games, and is sure to field a much-changed side for the Norwich replay. Of course, if the Blues were winning matches there would be no need to raise the fatigue element as an excuse. Continue Reading Champions League Are Chelsea potential 2017/18 Champions League winners? Published 6 days ago on January 14, 2018 By Rob Meech Antonio Conte will be looking to emulate his Italian counterpart Roberto di Matteo, by leading Chelsea to Champions League glory this season. The Blues’ champagne moment six years ago was the realisation of a dream Roman Abramovich had held since he gained ownership of the club in 2003. Chelsea are the reigning Premier League champions, having claimed the title in Conte’s first campaign in charge. But the former Italy boss’s honeymoon period is now over, amid a run of mixed results and speculation of player unrest. Here, The Boot Room assesses Chelsea’s prospects of lifting the Champions League for a second time. Performances so far The Blues were in the same group as both Atletico Madrid and Roma – as well as minnows Qarabag – and they finished level on points with the Italian club at the top of the standings. The highlight was a 2-1 victory away to Atletico, courtesy of a stoppage-time winner from Michy Batshuayi. A routine double was completed over Qarabag, but it was their results against Roma that shaped the final standings. Even though both clubs ended on 11 points to qualify for the last 16 and Chelsea had a vastly superior goal difference, the Blues could only follow up their 3-0 defeat in the Italian capital with a 3-3 draw at home. This proved costly, with Conte’s side finishing second and being drawn against Barcelona, which has significantly dented their chances of making it into the quarter-finals. Squad strength Chelsea captured the Premier League at a canter last season, thanks largely to the goals of Diego Costa and the brilliance of Eden Hazard. Despite the summer arrival of Alvaro Morata, Costa’s departure has been a big loss. Surprisingly, Nemanja Matic was permitted to join Manchester United, while David Luiz has fallen out of favour under Conte. Antonio Rudiger, Danny Drinkwater and Tiemoue Bakayoko have added depth to the squad, while the rise to prominence of Andreas Christensen has been an unexpected bonus. Ross Barkley is the first of their signings in the January window and perhaps more will follow. Most important is proper competition for the misfiring Morata, with Chelsea currently lacking a cutting edge in tight games. Manager A three-time winner of Serie A with Juventus (to go alongside last season’s Premier League crown), Conte is without doubt a manager of immense repute. After Jose Mourinho’s reign had turned sour, the 48-year-old was the perfect successor. He revitalised Chelsea and turned them into champions after adopting a 3-4-3 formation that proved to be a masterstroke. Conte has a unique style of management. His demonstrable shows of passion are loved by supporters, but his intensity has sparked rumours that he is not universally liked by his players. Costa fell foul of his wrath last summer, while Brazilian centre-back Luiz is the latest to be marginalised. Conte’s public clashes with his superiors over failed transfer targets have increased the tension. Chances of winning When Chelsea won the Champions League in 2012, they had to beat Barcelona over two legs in the semi-finals. If they want to lift the prestigious trophy again this year, it’s a feat they will need to repeat. Although the Blues are more than capable of competing with the very best in Europe, they would much rather have avoided opponents of Barcelona’s class at this stage. Chelsea only have themselves to blame for not topping Group C, which would likely have given them a smoother passage to the last eight. Barcelona, the runaway La Liga leaders, are by no means unbeatable, but they will be the favourites to progress and Chelsea will need to be at their very best over both games to stop them. Continue Reading Chelsea Why Andreas Christensen is the future of Chelsea’s defence Published 1 week ago on January 13, 2018 By Jake Jackman Photo: Reuters Andreas Christensen has been rewarded for his great form this season with a new contract at Chelsea and it looks like he is a player who the Blues want to build around for the future. The Danish international has been one of the breakthrough stars of the Premier League campaign and he is proof that there is value to the loan system used at Stamford Bridge. It has long been criticised as the club have stockpiled talent and few have made it to the first-team. However, Antonio Conte has opened the door to those that have spent time out on loan and breaking into the first eleven is now a realistic aim. It was a surprise when Victor Moses was given a prominent role last season, but he was the success story that gave hope to the likes of Christensen. At the beginning of this campaign, there was hope that the defender would follow in the wing-back’s footsteps, but he was initially behind David Luiz, Gary Cahill, Cesar Azpilicueta and Antonio Rudiger in the pecking order. The 21-year-old knew that he would have to work hard to earn a regular starting spot at Stamford Bridge and he has done just that. He has looked every inch a top-six player when he has played and is now seen as part of the club’s first eleven. Christensen has made 23 appearances this season and it was crucial that the club secured his future at the earliest opportunity. His recent four-and-a-half-year contract is justified. BBC Sport report the following quotes from him: “I’m just happy to be committed to Chelsea for the future. I’m enjoying it at the club and everything is working well” Christensen has had a rapid rise to the top of the sport. The defender is already a first-team regular for a Champions League team at the age of 21. The Danish international had an excellent two years on loan with Borussia Monchengladbach. Although the system can be abused, it can be a useful aid in developing a player if used correctly. Chelsea haven’t always been great at this, but they got it right with their talented centre-back. At the age of 19, Christensen had a lot of potential and had already made his first-team debut at Stamford Bridge. However, he was raw and not ready to take up a prominent role in the squad. He could have stayed around to offer competition, but the decision was taken to send him out on loan. There would have been a lot of interest in him given the hype around him at the time. Chelsea opted for the Bundesliga and Monchengladbach. This was seen as a good standard and the league has a great reputation for developing young players. Clubs in Germany are more willing to give opportunities to those in the infancy of their careers and that is why more and more young English players are going there. Monchengladbach immediately gave Christensen a regular starting place and he developed quickly. By the end of his first season, he was regarded as one of the best centre-backs in the division and there were Chelsea fans clamouring for his return. The loan agreement couldn’t be broken and in hindsight, that was positive for Christensen. One problem with the loan system is that players don’t get to fully settle at a club as they know their stay is going to be a temporary one. The defender knew that he would be at Monchengladbach for two years and that was certainly a good thing. If it is the right marriage between club and player, there is a lot to gain from a two-year loan. During his time in Germany, Christensen played regularly in the Bundesliga and got to test himself in European competition. Considering he was planning his long-term future with Chelsea, it was important that he got used to playing a European schedule and Monchengladbach provided that. These comments to Sky Sports show how crucial the defender thinks the loan experience was for him: “For me personally, it was the two biggest years of my career. If it went badly I might not be here now, but because it did I am here, feeling confident and in a good spot,” “The experience of playing in the Champions League and at the top level for two years every week helped me a lot. “Both for the club and for me personally, the plan was always to come back into the first team.” Sometimes a player can be loaned out as the parent club don’t know what to do with him and his career is put on the backburner. Christensen suggests that Chelsea mapped out his career path and told him exactly what he needed to do to break into the first-team. The Blues deserve credit for that, as they gave the player a clear directive and he made sure he achieved the necessary progress while out on loan. This season has been a breakthrough for Christensen as he has replaced David Luiz in the heart of Chelsea’s defence. That is a huge show of faith from Antonio Conte as he has taken the place of a £50 million signing and he has been full value for his spot in the team. The 21-year-old’s greatest strength is his ability on the ball, as he has a pass success rate of 93.9% in the Premier League. In a three-man defence, it is important to have a player willing to carry the ball into midfield and the Danish international is the best in the squad at that. David Luiz has frequently been praised for his ability on the ball, but he can be careless in possession and make costly errors that lead to goals. Despite his age, Christensen can be relied on not to do that and he has grown into his role with every game. In addition to his quality on the ball, the young defender can compete physically as shown by his average of two successful aerial duels per game. That was a weakness of his game during his teenage years, but his loan spell allowed him to develop his skills and he is now ready for the rough and bustle of the Premier League. Christensen isn’t an aggressive defender and he prefers to use his intelligence rather than his physicality to regain possession. He is currently averaging 2.5 ball recoveries and 3.6 clearances per game. The Danish international is a good reader of the game and complements the rest of the defence well. There is a long way to go until he fulfils his potential, but he is on the right track and set to become a mainstay of the Chelsea team for years to come. Continue Reading Football News 24/7 Advertisement Trending Manchester United2 days ago Paul Pogba defies critics as his incredible Manchester United record marches on Liverpool6 days ago Are Liverpool potential 2017/18 Champions League winners? Champions League6 days ago Are Chelsea potential 2017/18 Champions League winners? 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