3 possible replacements for Eden Hazard at Chelsea

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 24: Eden Hazard of Chelsea during the Carabao Cup Semi-Final Second Leg match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge on January 24, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Eden Hazard is on the verge of leaving Chelsea after several seasons at Stamford Bridge. The Belgian superstar joined The Blues back in 2012 on the backdrop of a brilliant season at Ligue 1 side LOSC Lille. It has been widely reported that he will be joining his dream club Real Madrid once the Europa League final vs Arsenal is over next week.

He is widely admired by the bosses at the Santiago Bernabeu and Chelsea will be selling in excess of €100 million. He has been phenomenal all season having scored 16 goals and added 15 more assists which contribute to 49 percent of Chelsea’s goals in the Premier League.

Chelsea are facing a transfer ban and they will be appealing to CAS with the hope that the ban gets deferred by at least 1 transfer window. In case the ban gets deferred, they will be able to operate in the transfer market and pick up a replacement for Hazard.

Here are 3 players who can act as potential replacements for the departing Belgian:

#3 Wilfried Zaha

Wilfried Zaha wants to play in a Champions League club next season

The Ivory Coast International has reportedly handed out a transfer request at Crystal Palace stating that he wants to play at a Champions League club next season and win trophies. He has scored 10 and assisted 10 more for The Eagles this season. Former Chelsea striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has urged Chelsea to sign the 26-year-old attacker in an interview stating,

“And then Wilfried Zaha brings the excitement. If Eden Hazard goes, you need somebody to take players on. Yes, they have Calum Hudson-Odoi but any good side needs four wide players, especially if something happens to Pedro or Willian.””I think it will be difficult for Crystal Palace to keep them, with all due respect. If they’re going to go, I think it’s best for them to stay in London.”Yes, Wilfried Zaha had a difficult move to Man United that didn’t work out so I think it’d be good for him to stay in London.”
Zaha is known for his blend of speed and skill. He can drag defenders out of position to create space for strikers to operate. He has the ability to exhaust and commit defenders and wreak havoc which is unpleasing for the opposition. Zaha is versatile as he can on all three positions up front and he would be a brilliant addition should they be able to get his signature.

#2 Nicolas Pepe

Nicolas Pepe will leave the club this summer, according to Lille President

Nicolas Pepe makes it to the list as the second Ivorian in the fray. The 23-year-old has had a breakthrough season in France with him scoring 23 goals and assisting 12 more across all competitions for Lille this season.

A left-footed player, Pepe is a very fast player with great dribbling abilities. He is known for his great vision and ability to find teammates. He can dribble well in short spaces and get positive results out of that, making him a constant menace for the opposition.

With his brilliant qualities, he is just the kind of winger Chelsea need right now. He can combine well with strikers and move into scoring positions or create chances for them. He’s reminiscent of Arjen Robben due to his tendencies to cut inside from the right wing. And we do know, how it all turned out to be when Chelsea last signed a player from LOSC Lille. Chelsea fans can be hoping for something similar to happen if this deal does go through.

#1 Antoine Griezmann

Antoine Griezmann can single-handedly lead the attack
The biggest name on the list, Antoine Griezmann announced a few days back through a video on social media that he would be leaving Atletico Madrid at the end of the season. The 28-year-old has been leading the Atletico attack consistently over the years.

A proven goalscorer and a chance creator, Griezmann is pacy, technically brilliant and has a fitness level which is worth envying. The world cup winner with France has missed just 1 competitive game in his career through injury.

Griezmann can play as a false-9, a centre-forward or on the flanks which makes it difficult for the opposition to track him during the game as he can switch positions to suit the gameplay of the team. He has 21 goals and 10 assists for Atletico this season and his goalscoring abilities will be a huge boost for Chelsea as they have often been misfiring in front of the net which has affected their results.

A player of Griezmann’s abilities will not come cheap and Atletico is holding out his entire release clause of £108 million to facilitate the transfer. Chelsea will have to break the bank to get his signature but the amount is totally worth it for one of the most complete players in the game.