HAZARD TO CONTE: PLAY ME IN CENTRAL NO.10 ROLE..IM USELESS TO YOU ANYWHERE ELSE
Eden Hazard wants to play in the No 10 role at Chelsea but admits manager Antonio Conte won’t change the formation just for him.
The Belgian has rediscovered his best form on the international stage after new coach Roberto Martinez shifted Hazard in from the left to play a more central role.
Hazard scored in both Belgium games during the international break and he believes he could adapt to the position for Chelsea.
‘I like to play as a No 10,’ Hazard said. ‘I think I have more freedom offensively. For Belgium, we have full backs who run hard and create a lot of space, which is good and I like to play there.’
‘I don’t know if I will play there at Chelsea. You need to ask the manager! I play on the left hand side and I try to do the best I can.’
Hazard was keen for a run in the position under Jose Mourinho but the manager told him publicly that he did not fit his profile of the ideal playmaker
Chelsea have already played with Oscar, Willian and Cesc Fabregas in the role this season but manager Antonio Conte is still searching for his best solution.
‘It’s true I like to play as a 10. Sometimes at Chelsea we don’t play with system with a number 10, too. I don’t think Chelsea wants to change just for me (to play) as a 10. I did well in the past as a left winger but im not much use there compared to the central position and for now, I am trying to get back to that best again.’
Hazard also praised his new Chelsea manager Conte after a brutal pre-season regime left the squad feeling fitter and sharper.
‘We are fit because we ran a lot in pre-season! You need to do this to stay at the top. We want to improve with this manager.’
‘He is good. We started well with 3 wins, then we suffered two defeats after the international break and then we won again. He has tried to bring confidence to the players.’
Chelsea face Leicester as the Premier League returns this weekend and Hazard has warned Claudio Ranieri’s side of the perils of the season that follows a title-winning campaign. Hazard was outstanding as Chelsea won the League in 2014 but struggled last season and manager Jose Mourinho lost his job.
‘They played well last season,’ Hazard said. But this season is completely different. We know as we were champions and the season after is very difficult. But they still have lot of good players.’