Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has admitted the club need to try and replace Eden Hazard in the January transfer window.
Hazard joined Real Madrid in the summer for an initial fee of £88m with the potential to rise to £150m with add-ons. In seven seasons at Stamford Bridge the Belgian scored 110 goals across 352 games, winning the Premier League twice, two Europa League titles, an FA Cup and League Cup.
During his final campaign with Chelsea, Hazard was directly involved in 31 of Chelsea’s 63 Premier League goals, scoring 16 and adding a further 15 assists.
Will Chelsea sign players in January? Five things to know…
- Chelsea were unable to sign players in the summer due to a two-window transfer ban.
- That ban was also meant to cover the January window but after appeal, it was reduced by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
- As a result, Chelsea are free to sign players next month.
- The Blues have already been linked with strengthening their squad.
- And Frank Lampard has revealed they will look to replace Eden Hazard, who joined Real Madrid in the summer.
Chelsea were initially unable to replace Hazard with new players due to a transfer ban, leaving Lampard relying on the stars already at the club.
Christian Pulisic has done a good job since making his debut, having initially signed last January, scoring six goals and recordings six assists across all competitions. Meanwhile Willian has been favoured as Chelsea’s other winger, providing experience in attack.
Last week Chelsea learned that their two-window transfer ban had been reduced to the window already served by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, leaving them free to add to their squad in January.
This has seen the Blues linked with various attacking players, including Wilfried Zaha and Lyon’s Moussa Dembele. And Lampard has admitted the club do need to replace the quality they lost when Hazard left.
Frank Lampard reflects on Chelsea’s 2-1 win over Lille
“There will be discussions about where we can strengthen,” he told reporters after Chelsea beat Lille 2-1 to secure their place in the last-16 of the Champions League.
“The transfer window will be a bit fluid.
“It is quite clear in the summer we lost Eden Hazard who has been a huge part of scoring and creating for us in the last few seasons. We need more competition in those creative areas.
“We have found a way in the team where we can still be competitive in the league and the Champions League and going forward you ask ‘can we get even better in forward areas to help us to be more clinical?’ We would always look at that.
“At the moment we are just not converting enough chances but we are a work in progress and I am not here to criticise people because we have just qualified from a really tough group.”
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Who could replace Eden Hazard at Chelsea?
Even before their transfer ban was reduced, Chelsea had been linked with signing several attacking players, including Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho.
The teenager is reportedly growing unsettled at Borussia Dortmund and has been linked with a return to England. Sancho has been directly involved in 18 goals across the Bundesliga and Champions League so far this season, scoring nine and adding nine assists.
Jadon Sancho has been directly involved in 18 goals in 18 games in the Bundesliga and Champions League this season.
His output is sensational. pic.twitter.com/Qd0nmpDE7O
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 10, 2019
Chelsea are just one of a few Premier League clubs touted with interest, and with Sancho’s past as a boyhood Blues fan having been revealed, links have only strengthened.
The Blues have also been linked with Zaha, who took over Hazard’s reins as the Premier League’s best dribbler, completing 74 take-ons so far this season — eight more than any other player.
Zaha had handed in a transfer request at Crystal Palace in the summer and has his sights set on playing Champions League football, something Chelsea can guarantee with their knockout place.