Can Chelsea fill Hazard void?
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has admitted the Blues will find it “impossible” to replace Eden Hazard but which players can step up to try and fill the void?
Lampard’s life as Blues boss got off to the worst possible start after they suffered a 4-0 hammering at the hands of Manchester United on the opening weekend of the Premier League season.
Blues supporters will have been left ruing Hazard’s absence as the Belgian international, who moved on to pastures new with Real Madrid this summer, would undoubtedly have added more to the Chelsea attack on Sunday.
Speaking about Hazard’s absence, Lampard said: “For me, clearly [Hazard is] one of the best players in world football and last season, but not just last season, over his time at Chelsea he was the most productive player in the team generally, in terms of assists and goals and a leader.
“You cannot replace him individually, I think it’s pretty much impossible because of the high, high level he is at now in his career.”
Frank Lampard has admitted it's "impossible" to replace Eden Hazard ⭐ pic.twitter.com/NaU0bI3G5g
— Goal (@goal) August 14, 2019
High praise indeed from Lampard for the creative talent of Hazard but the former England midfielder also claimed he can see other players stepping up to fill the void this season.
Hazard produced the most assists in the Premier League last term and Lampard will need a collective effort to make up those numbers, as he was not able to dip into the transfer market to directly replace the departing star due to Chelsea’s on-going transfer ban.
Ross Barkley impressed during pre-season and the former Everton midfielder stated he was urged to take more chances going forward by the new Blues boss.
Mason Mount, who shone under Lampard during their time together at Derby County last season, could also chip in from midfield.
The 20-year-old came in for some criticism from some quarters for his performance at Old Trafford last weekend but Lampard is expected to give Mount opportunities to impress this season.
It might well come down to some of the more experienced Chelsea players to step up and bag the goals and assists this term.
Willian and Pedro will have to shoulder some of that responsibility if the Blues are to beat some stern competition to secure a top-four finish in the Premier League.