Roman Abramovich has a busy summer ahead of him with the recruitment process for a new manager and the contract situations with two of his best players – Thibaut Courtois and Eden Hazard. Antonio Conte is trying to save his job but with the club stacked at the 5th spot of the points table, his departure is looking more and more likely.
Chelsea got blown out by the Tottenham Hotspur at home last weekend. The Blues broke the deadlock from Alvaro Morata’s guided header but unfortunately could not hold out against an in-form Spurs side.
Christian Eriksen dipping shot from long distance equalised just before the half-time whistle and later Dele Alli took it away with a brace. Mauricio Pochettino’s men started the game slowly but took over in the second half and ended the game 1-3 at Stamford Bridge.
The result ended up making a major impact in the top-four standing as Chelsea got pushed back to an 8-point gap behind the visitors. They have 7 games left to play catch up but bridging such a monstrous gap will take miraculous efforts.
After winning the league title last season and investing so heavily in the summer window, it was expected for Chelsea to secure themselves as a title-challenging side. But the 2017/18 campaign has been a completely different story altogether.
First, the rift between the manager and the Chelsea ownership started to take effect on the team and later the summer window purchases started to underperform to woeful levels. Danny Drinkwater can be sympathized with mostly due to his injury concerns and the presence of Cesc Fabregas in the squad.
However, Tiémoué Bakayoko and Antonio Rudiger have failed to uphold the standards they showcased in their previous sides. The latter has been reinstalled into the team after Gary Cahill started to show signs of slowing down but Bakayoko has been shambolic, to say the least.
Davide Zappacosta has shown signs of offensive quality but fails to perform his primary duty, which is to defend.
Conte was further infuriated when the board disallowed him to purchase players of his own choosing. And the current climate seems to be making a serious impression on the Belgian duo – Hazard and Courtois as well.
Both are ambitious and are at the peak of their careers. A repeat of the 2015/16 season is not ideal for players who want to see names on glowing medals at the end of the season and lift a trophy with the rest of their teammates.
Here are some of the clubs Hazard should go for in the summer.
There is no doubt of the elite status Madrid has in Europe and the talent pool they have acquired over the years. Hazard is a world-class talent who can take over from Cristiano Ronaldo as the club’s marquee player. The club needs a creative and scoring input from the flanks, something Ronaldo does not associate with anymore. The 5 time Balon d’Or winner has converted his game to more of a centre-forward’s and can form a lucrative partnership with Hazard.
The Bundesliga giants have been blessed with one of the world’s most lethal front three of Frank Ribery, Arjen Robben and Robert Lewandowski. However, both Robben and Ribery are 34 and will soon need able replacements, if not this summer.
The Serie A champions have progressed to worldly status in Italy and were the runners-up in the last Champions League campaign. However, they still need more attacking threat in the squad and maybe Hazard can be the one to put them over the top.