X

Sunday 24
March

Chelsea

Boss knows best for Hazard

22nd December 2018, 08:34 by Nick Harris

Blues ace Eden Hazard needs to be "free" on the pitch when he turns out for Chelsea according to boss Maurizio Sarri.

The 27-year-old Belgium playmaker has been deployed as the Blues' 'false nine' for the last two Premier League games - wins over holders Manchester City and at Brighton - and is set to feature in the position against Leicester on Saturday.

Sarri said: "There isn't the best position for Hazard. Hazard is a wonderful player with a very high level of imagination.

"He needs to be let free on the pitch."

Since the World Cup, when he helped Belgium finish third, Hazard has spoken of his daily quandary over whether to extend his Chelsea contract, which expires at the end of next season, or seek a "dream" move to Real Madrid.

He is clearly enjoying life at Stamford Bridge under Sarri, who succeeded Antonio Conte as head coach in July.

Hazard scored his 10th goal of the season after coming off the substitutes' bench in Wednesday's Carabao Cup quarter-final win over Bournemouth and Chelsea appear increasingly reliant on their star man.

Hazard played as a 'false nine' under Conte and later expressed his frustrations, but it is different under Sarri.

"He told me that he likes very much to play there," Sarri added.

Sarri is seeking to get the best out of the team as a whole and was not totally satisfied with the performance at Brighton. He is demanding his side "kill" similar matches.

The 59-year-old said: "My players thought the match was under control, the match was without problems, so we lowered the level of application and attention.

"We need to avoid this. On the pitch we need to think only to kill the match."

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Nick Harris is a long-standing journalist who specialises in football and rugby league. An avid golfer, Nick also follows the major boxing fights closely.

More Chelsea

Chelsea

Chelsea miss out on Italian midfield ace

24th March 2019, 06:56

Chelsea failed with an attempt to land Cagliari midfield ace Nicolo Barella in the January transfer window.

Chelsea

Chelsea youngster delighted with debut

23rd March 2019, 10:35

In-demand Chelsea youngster Callum Hudson-Odoi says he is in dreamland after making his England debut.

Chelsea

Brazilian ace linked to Chelsea

23rd March 2019, 08:43

Chelsea are said to be monitoring the situation in Barcelona as the Spanish giants consider selling Philippe Coutinho.

Chelsea

Chelsea star wanted by Europe's elite

22nd March 2019, 16:39

Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus are the latest names to be linked with a potential swoop for Chelsea star N'Golo Kante.

Chelsea

Nuno linked with Blues managerial role

22nd March 2019, 11:24

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo is reportedly a possible managerial target for Chelsea as Maurizio Sarri's future remains in doubt.

Chelsea

Chelsea eye up Ake return

21st March 2019, 17:16

Reports in the Netherlands are suggesting that Chelsea are looking into the possibility of re-signing Nathan Ake from Bournemouth.

Recent Sport Headlines

Chelsea

Chelsea miss out on Italian midfield ace

24th March 2019, 06:56

Chelsea failed with an attempt to land Cagliari midfield ace Nicolo Barella in the January transfer window.

Manchester United

United keen on Chelsea forward

24th March 2019, 05:32

Manchester United are reported to have joined the race to sign Chelsea midfielder Callum Hudson-Odoi in the summer.

Arsenal

Arsenal ace hints at move

24th March 2019, 05:10

Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka has suggested he is looking to move on and take the 'next step' in his career.

Inter Milan

De Boer - Inter team had 'rotten group'

23rd March 2019, 20:04

Former Inter Milan boss Frank de Boer claims he inherited a 'rotten group' when he took charge of the club in 2016.

Bayern Munich

Bayern planning Jovic bid

23rd March 2019, 19:44

Bayern Munich are readying a bid for Benfica star Luka Jovic, according to reports in the Spanish media.

Real Madrid

Varane happy with life in Madrid

23rd March 2019, 19:38

Real Madrid centre-back Raphael Varane says he is happy in Spain despite speculation linking him with a move to Manchester United

Tennis

Evans no match for Shapovalov

23rd March 2019, 19:25

British number three Dan Evans has been knocked out of the Miami Open after losing to Denis Shapovalov.

Rugby League

Hastings eager to repay Red Devils

23rd March 2019, 19:06

Salford Red Devils star Jackson Hastings says he will do all he can to repay the club after rejecting a deal from Wigan.