Keeping Eden Hazard Happy Should Be Conte’s Priority At Chelsea


It has obviously been a poor season for Chelsea and it hasn’t been a coincidence that the ‘Blues’ fall from grace has been mirrored by the decline of star man Eden Hazard.

It is sometimes hard to remember that this Chelsea squad romped to the Premier League title under the guidance of legendary boss Jose Mourinho last season.

Belgian maestro Hazard was in sensational form that term, scoring fourteen times and creating nine assists in the league. That formed was justly rewarded with the PFA Player of the Year trophy.

Fast forward a year, Chelsea sit in ninth spot and Hazard has struggled to get anywhere near to the standards that he was playing at.

In fact the attacker only found his first goals of the season at Bournemouth yesterday, that shows you how poorly he has been this campaign.

But Hazard is only twenty-five and is far from past it as a match winning footballer. The 4-1 win over Bournemouth proved that.

It seems like it is all down to how you manage Eden Hazard. He needs to play with a freedom. He wants to be seen as the main man on the pitch and thrives on encouragement.

Mourinho seemed to struggle when it came to handling Hazard.

He was critical of him a few seasons back and that distracted the player. Last season he got it right and encouraged him by telling him how good he could be. Then this term it seemed to go wrong again with Jose possibly demanding too much from his top performer.

I think it would have been better to leave Hazard alone and just let him flourish without trying to rush him into becoming the next Messi or Ronaldo.


This is where Antonio Conte comes in.

He’ll takeover at Chelsea this summer, once the Euros are finished.

Speculation over Eden Hazard’s future was rife in January with PSG and Real Madrid linked with moves. But his form didn’t improve and it seems Chelsea’s valuation of £70m hasn’t lowered, so it would be a huge gamble to pay so much for a out of form talent.

That could make Conte’s job of reassuring Hazard his future is still bright in London easier.

If he can convince Eden to once again shine at Stamford Bridge, then Chelsea could start next term in already terrific shape as they’d arguably have the Premier League’s best outfield player in their squad.

Obviously Chelsea could demand that Hazard stays no matter what. He still has four years to run on a very lucrative contract after all.

But it’s extremely important that Conte handles Hazard properly and can show him that he can be loved once again at the Bridge. Building the team around him would be an encouraging start.

But for it all to work out and for the world to talk about Hazard’s wonderful talents again the player himself has to turn up and show the Chelsea fans that he is determined to put things right. He will need to put on inspirational performances that gets the crowd on the edges of their seats.

One poor season doesn’t define a club or a player… It’s how they react to that dreadful campaign that counts now.

Hopefully Antonio Conte can take Eden Hazard aside and get the Belgian international pulling the strings again in the Premier League for Chelsea. If he can do that, then we will be talking about the forward getting back among the individual prizes again this time next year and the club could be once again challenging for a league title!


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