Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has hinted Eden Hazard to capture a new role after yet another great performance.
The Blues forward was unstoppable on Saturday, as Chelsea drew 1-1 with Liverpool at Anfield. The Belgium international completed more successful take-ons (9) than any other player has in one game this Premier League season, and also assisted the vital equalizer five minutes before ful-time whistle. Even Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp claimed they need ‘three players to stop Hazard’.
Conte has recently switched the formation from the last season’s hit-system 3-4-2-1 to 3-5-2, allowing Hazard to play in more central and attacking position – basically as a second striker to Alvaro Morata. In the Premier League he has done just that, but in our last Champions League clash against Qarabag he was actually tested out as a false nine in the front-three of him, Willian and Pedro. As expected, he was lethal then.
Hazard has flourished in his new striker’s role, and when interviewed on the post-game press conference, Conte said he believes that the player could be retained in the position throughout the campaign.
The start of the season was full of trouble, he had an injury and we started without him. When you need a surgery it is important to have the best time for your recovery. He is in a really good form and he likes to play as a striker.
There is a good link with Alvaro, for me it is a great opportunity in this season to have the possibility to have two different systems. Qarabag was 3-4-2-1, this was 3-5-2, it is important not to lose identity in both cases.
– Antonio Conte
Hazard has now either scored or created a goal in four of his last five Premier League appearances.