4 players who can replace Eden Hazard at Chelsea
Chelsea seem to be in big trouble right now. A transfer ban seems to hit the Blues very hard and they also occur to be on the verge of missing out of the Champions League for one more season. Another huge problem seems to come in the person of Eden Hazard, whose contract is running out in June of 2020.
Real Madrid are interested in a £100 million move for the Belgian and the player himself stated that he would like a move to Spain. Therefore, Sarri would need to replace his top scorer, if possible due to the transfer ban, with a new star, who could step into Hazard's footsteps.
Here are my suggestions:
1. Memphis Depay
Memphis is ready to join a top club again. The lighting fast player, who could play as both, striker and left-winger, could step in for Hazard and would definitely do a good job there. The 25 years old is a flair player that always can pull a trick to get past an opponent. He mostly uses his right foot to either dribble past an opponent down the wing, from where he whips in a dangerous pass, or pull into the middle and shoot from range.
Comparison to Hazard: Depay puts up more shots and key passes per game than Hazard, he also makes more crosses and is dispossessed less per 90 than the (still) Chelsea player is. The crossing, especially, could bring a new aspect to game of Chelsea, as they usually play with a striker who is strong in the air.
Where the Dutch national obviously lacks, are his dribbling numbers, as Eden dribbles nearly twice as much as Memphis is doing. He is also being fouled more, which may be due to the aggressive tackling in the EPL. Another impressive number is the amount of passes Hazard makes per 90, the bigger number, combined with better accuracy, also suggests that he gets the ball from deeper and is more involved in the teams build up play.
Price: £80 million
2. Steven Bergwijn
As the other Dutchman on this list, Bergwijn started his career at PSV Eindhoven, where he is still playing until today. Aged 21, he is the youngest of the players in the article, but already puts on great performances in the Eredivisie. He is right now in his breakthrough season with 11 goals and 12 assists in 25 performances to his name. He is a very direct player who either goes in a fast one-on-one or brings himself into smart positions from where he can play a dangerous pass or shoot directly onto the target.
Comparison to Hazard: Just as Memphis, Bergwijn also makes more shots per 90 and surprisingly, he even got a better pass accuracy than the star player he is compared to. However, considering those stats come from Eredivisie, you have to look at them with awareness, as they could turn out to be worse in the Premier League. Whereas they both are producing similar numbers in their dribbles and dispossessed section, Hazard is again far more fouled than the young Dutch international. Eden is a touch of better at crossing and key passes but outclasses another player in the number of passes he plays per 90.
Price: £40 million
3. Hirving Lozano
After a magnificent world cup, the 23 years old was linked with half of Europe for a transfer out of PSV. No one was able to get him, but that still should not make him less interesting for Chelsea in the upcoming summer. Lozano already scored an astonishing 15 goals and assisted more than half as much in 8. Another quite direct player, who loves to dribble past his opponents with a simple trick and, as fast as possible, give a good pass or shoot on the target. He is also very good on the counter due to his pace and technical ability.
Comparison to Hazard: "Chucky" is another player who does not come close to the Chelsea player's passing stats. The numbers of Lozano even suggest that he is more of a striker that likes to move out wide, which his crossing numbers also would confirm. When it comes to the other brackets, he is only better in his shot number. In the other statistics, such as key passes, dispossessed, dribbles and fouled per 90, Eden is superior to him. One surprise is that he is the first player, who gets nearly fouled as much in comparison, which may be due to his massive speed with the ball on his feet.
Price: £50 million
4. Thorgan Hazard
The last player worth a look at is Hazard's 4 years younger brother Thorgan. He is slowly but steadily creeping out his shadow and is having another great season at Germany. 9 goals and 10 assists speak more than words. He is another very direct, if not the most direct, player on this list. He is a very smart player just as his brother, who often receives the ball in a dangerous position out wide. From there he tries to take on his face-to-face opponent and either shoot or pass the ball. He may be the slowest, or better said the least fast one on this, but makes up with some great off the ball movement.
Comparison to Hazard: By taking a look at his stats you can also see that he is the “little” brother of Eden. Coming in slightly short in shots and key passes per game, the difference in dribbles and being fouled per 90 is bigger. Thorgan is another player to just be outclassed by the huge amount of passes his brother brings to a teammate. The only parts where he is better than the Premier League star, are in his crosses and dispossessed numbers.
Price: £40 million