After a bit of a blip, Chelsea have bounced back with back-to-back wins against the Premier League champions Manchester City and Brighton with talisman Eden Hazard starring in both victories.
The brilliant Belgian created both goals in his side’s 2-0 triumph over Pep Guardiola’s men while he was also able to get his name on the scoresheet at the Amex to end his drought in front of goal.
That, along with the assist he provided Pedro in the defeat of Brighton, took Hazard to 17 Premier League goal involvements for the season, more than any other player, giving his manager Maurizio Sarri something to now seriously think about.
It was from up front where Hazard took down both Manchester City and Brighton with his manager deploying him there having seemingly lost all trust in the squad’s natural No.9s Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud.
And while the idea of using Hazard as a makeshift striker might have only been something Sarri envisioned for Chelsea’s two previous games, the Belgium international has played so well there, it could now be an option for the rest of the campaign.
In fact, given how poor Morata has been, it is surprising the Italian has only now opted to utilise Hazard in the false 9 role he played in at the Amex.
In the end of the day, though, the most important thing is Sarri has identified what has proven to be a problem position in the team and has acted.
Like Marco Silva at Everton who has moved Richarlison from the left-hand side to a more central position following his own problems with Cenk Tosun, Sarri has now done the same thing and Chelsea are now benefitting as a result.
In the Chelsea coach’s ideal world, the Blues will bring in Dries Mertens — who was utilised as a striker just like how Hazard is now under Sarri when he was still Napoli boss — next month.
However, if that is not an option and Chelsea do not have any plans to bring in a new centre-forward, then Sarri must persist with Hazard leading the line with Morata and Giroud both lacking any sort of consistency.
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