Frank Lampard has labelled Eden Hazard “irreplaceable” amid ongoing speculation the Chelsea forward will join Real Madrid this summer.
Hazard, who won the Premier League Playmaker award with 15 assists this season, has been tipped to join Madrid as part of the La Liga giants’ summer overhaul.
Hazard to leave Chelsea? Five key things to know…
- Hazard has just one year left on his current contract with Chelsea.
- As a result, the Blues may be forced to sell the Belgian to Real Madrid this summer or risk losing him for nothing next year.
- Chelsea are banned from buying players so they will be keen to keep hold of Hazard for next season.
- The 28-year-old says he has informed Chelsea of where he wants to play his football next term.
- Hazard finished the 2018/19 league campaign with 16 goals and 15 assists.
Lampard spent the majority of his career at Chelsea before short spells with Manchester City and New York City FC.
And the Derby County manager believes Chelsea must put faith in their young players if Hazard does depart this summer.
“He’s in the top few players in the world. I think we all know that,” Lampard told talkSPORT.
“We’ve seen him in the Premier League and he has been a joy to have. He was a joy to play with.
“I knew his potential from day one when he trained at Chelsea a few years ago now.
“Of course it will be disappointing to lose him for the Premier League but particularly Chelsea.
“You don’t replace Eden Hazard, you have to find ways around it whether it be some of the younger players or the team.
“That’s if you are going to lose him, we don’t know that for sure yet but it seems it might happen.”
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‘Transfer news must not distract Chelsea from Europa League’
If Hazard is set to leave Chelsea this summer, the Europa League final against Arsenal could be his final game for the Londoners.
The Belgium international has made 351 appearances for the club across all competitions, scoring 108 goals.
And Lampard says Chelsea must concentrate on winning the Europa League before turning their attention to Hazard’s situation or the impending transfer ban.
He added: “The Europa League final will be a huge game for them. To win a competition like that is always big.
“It’s going to be a tough game against Arsenal and then we will see with the transfer ban etc.
“It’s always news at Chelsea. It’s always happening that way when you are a big club it tends to be that way. We will see.
“The players, manager and club’s objective now is to win that final, simple as that.”