Antonio Conte explained why he substituted Chelsea star in the semi-final clash of the Carabao Cup against Arsenal last night.
The 27 year old Belgian has been a vital part of Chelsea’s team since his arrival at the club from LOSC Lille in 2012. However, while he has suffered from form issues over the last few seasons, this season has seen him return back to his 2014/15 player of season form, with nine goals and eight assists despite missing the start of the season. But with Antonio Conte bringing him off, many suspected an injury to their star but the Italian manager has calmed their fears.
With Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere suffering a further setback and had to be pulled off the pitch thanks to what looked like an ankle injury, Chelsea fans were hoping the same hadn’t happened to Hazard. The Belgian international was brought off seven minutes from time, despite the fact that Chelsea had the upper hand and many feared the worst.
However, Antonio Conte has brought the fear to a rest and confirmed that the switch was nothing more than a tactical move. In an interview, the former Juventus boss said, “No, it was a technical decision. You must be worried if you don’t create and it is difficult not to score,” Conte added. “Every game we create chances, this season we might be a bit unlucky, but haven’t taken the chances.
The speech is not for the strikers, Christensen had two fantastic chances to score. It is not just the strikers, you have to take chances. The semi-final it is important to take your chances.”
The Belgian star was unavailable for Chelsea 0-0 clash against Norwich City on Saturday with reports of a calf problem for the 27-year-old. However, despite that, he was pronounced fit and ready for action and Antonio Conte even went on to say, “Eden is in a good physical condition. He had a little problem but he is in contention for the game,”
Any further injury to Eden Hazard could give Chelsea a serious problem for their hopes for a top-four finish, especially with Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United and even Tottenham charging behind them. However, other than that they need to tie him down to a new contract, especially with Real Madrid seriously looking for Cristiano Ronaldo’s replacement.