Few clubs possess a player as wonderfully gifted as Eden Hazard. Under Jose Mourinho, Chelsea’s dependency on their superstar grew to worrying levels and that was largely their undoing in the calamitous 2015/16 campaign that saw the club slump way out of the title battle.
Hazard’s form dipped and the Blues went in to turmoil. Fortunately for both Belgium and Chelsea, Hazard is now looking somewhere near his best again and it has been beautiful to watch. Jinking past defenders, pushing the ball to team-mates for a one-two and firing in shots from all angles, Hazard is seemingly ready to return to his star player mantle in west London and it could bring dramatic results.
Antonio Conte, the best manager of the EUROs so far, must be wondering how he can make sure Hazard continues to perform at these levels. There’ll be signings at Stamford Bridge this summer, for sure, but who of these FIVE are actually good enough to slot in to a team with Eden Hazard…
So nearly the hero of Atletico Madrid’s Champions League final against Real Madrid, Carrasco must be wondering why he doesn’t get more minutes under Diego Simeone.
Often under valued by both his club manager and Marc Wilmots, Hazard’s national team-mate could surely be tempted into a big move over to the Premier League. His arrival might put Willian’s future in doubt, but the burning pace of Carrasco seems suited to Conte’s style.
Amid Croatia’s excellent group stage performances, Marcelo Brozovic was one of the best players, despite the star-studded line-up the Croats have.
Ivan Perisic also impressed, but it was the complete game of Brozovic in the midfield that showed just how good he is. With the arrival of Ever Banega at Inter Milan, Brozovic might just be considering his future, too.
Could this star fit alongside Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas?
With half of Europe seemingly chasing Axel Witsel’s signature, the Belgian international will be hard for Chelsea to snap up this summer.
However, Zenit’s asking price of around £25m is not extortionate in the modern market and he would provide physicality to the Chelsea midfield that looked so very flimsy last season.
Lazio have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to young forwards, with Anderson, Ravel Morrison and Balde Keita all possessing great potential.
The rapid Brazilian is often found in a wide position, but he could just as easily slot in to a role just off a main centre forward.
With Hazard facing so much pressure to break through defensive blocks for Chelsea, Anderson would be another direct dribbler to cause the opposition problems.
With Cesar Azpilicueta surely destined to return to his preferred right-back berth, the arrival of a new left-sided defender would be hugely helpful to Eden Hazard.
Azpilicueta has never been comfortable overlapping on the left and, as a result, Hazard has often been isolated. Rodriguez, who had an excellent EUROs with Switzerland, is the ideal player to fit in to a Conte team and add to the threat on the left for Chelsea.
If needed, Rodriguez has all the offensive attributes to play as a wing-back, too.