Chelsea defender David Luiz has revealed his opinion that only two players on the planet would be capable of replacing the production of Real Madrid-bound teammate Eden Hazard at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea 4-1 Arsenal
The Blues took on London rivals Arsenal in the final of the Europa League in Baku last night.
The clash marked Chelsea’s final opportunity of the campaign to clinch silverware, after missing out on League Cup glory in heartbreaking fashion back in February.
In addition, adding further significance to the Baku showpiece was the fact that Maurizio Sarri headed into proceedings in search of his first-ever title as a manager.
When the 90 minutes were said and done last night, though, a stellar second-half showing on the part of the Stamford Bridge outfit saw Sarri put his trophy-less past firmly behind him.
Goals from Eden Hazard (2), former Arsenal man Olivier Giroud, and Pedro eventually saw Chelsea emerge with a comprehensive 4-1 victory.
Got 60 seconds to spare? ✋
49′ ⚽️ Giroud
60′ ⚽️ Pedro
65′ ⚽️ Hazard
69′ ⚽️ Iwobi
72′ ⚽️ Hazard
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) May 30, 2019
‘Time for a new challenge’
One downer for fans of the Blues on an otherwise superb night, however, was the fact that the Europa League final looks, for all intents and purposes, to have come as Eden Hazard’s final appearance for the club.
On the back of his Man of the Match showing versus Arsenal, Belgian attacker Hazard admitted in a post-game interview with BT Sport that the end of his Chelsea career appears imminent, with a move to Spanish giants Real Madrid looming:
“I think it is a goodbye, but in football you never know.” 😢
“Now maybe it is time for a new challenge.” 👀
Eden Hazard reveals a decision HAS been made on his Chelsea future… pic.twitter.com/fqNNeIhCxP
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) May 29, 2019
Luiz on irreplaceable Hazard
And one of the 28-year-old’s teammates who feels as though Chelsea will face a tough task in their attempts to replace Hazard is defender David Luiz.
Speaking to reporters in the aftermath of his side’s European triumph last night, Luiz revealed his opinion that only one of two players could fill Hazard’s boots at Stamford Bridge:
‘That’s either Messi or Ronaldo.’
‘I think, if he goes, I just wish him all the best. He is a fantastic player, friend and guy. I’ve known him ever since he was so young here. I am so happy for him because the world knows who Eden Hazard is.’
‘It [moving on] is part of life. Some cycles finish, some cycles start.’
‘I think we have many, many talents within the club who can (try to) replace him. Callum [Hudson-Odoi] is great. Callum has known this club since he was young and he has the talents to one day try to be like Eden. It didn’t start so well because of the injury [Hudson-Odoi suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon last month], but it is time for him to improve in other sides [of his game].’
Quotes via AS