Antonio Conte opens up about Eden Hazard at Chelsea

Antonio Conte has his say on Eden Hazard as he adapts to life as Chelsea's new manager

Antonio Conte has revealed that he has been impressed by Eden Hazard’s attitude and fitness levels since his arrival at Chelsea.

The Belgian playmaker came in for plenty of criticism last season after struggling for form and fitness as Chelsea endured a disastrous campaign in the Premier League.

Hazard was given an extended summer holiday before reporting back to Chelsea for duty last month and flying out with the squad to the United States for their pre-season tour.

The 25-year-old looked sharp and scored twice in Saturday night’s 3-2 defeat by Real Madrid in their most recent pre-season friendly game.

And the new man in charge at Stamford Bridge says he has been happy with what he has seen from the Belgian as he ponders his best position for the Blues.

Speaking in an interview with Chelsea’s website, Conte said: “Eden Hazard played 30 minutes [against Real Madrid] and he is recovering a good shape.

“I like him in this position, like a forward, and he can be a good solution for us. Also playing as a winger.

“To play as a second forward he must improve his shape but he is working and he knows his shape can a lot in the same way as the other players.”

MORE: The latest Chelsea news and views

MORE: The latest Chelsea player tweets

Chelsea finished 10th in the Premier League last season before they opted to sack Jose Mourinho and bring in Conte as the club’s new boss.

Paul Merson
Paul Merson predicts the scoreline of Brentford v Chelsea FC
Chelsea FC manager Thomas Tuchel (Photo: Screen grab / BT Sport)
Brentford boss: ‘Enormously intelligent’ Chelsea FC star one of the best in the world
Mikel Arteta
‘At all costs’: Paul Merson predicts Arsenal v Crystal Palace
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Photo: Screen grab)
Nigel Winterburn predicts where Man United will finish this season
Paul Merson
Paul Merson reveals his prediction for Watford v Liverpool FC
Paul Merson
Paul Merson predicts the scoreline of Brentford v Chelsea FC
Chelsea FC manager Thomas Tuchel (Photo: Screen grab / BT Sport)
Brentford boss: ‘Enormously intelligent’ Chelsea FC star one of the best in the world
Mikel Arteta
‘At all costs’: Paul Merson predicts Arsenal v Crystal Palace
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Photo: Screen grab)
Nigel Winterburn predicts where Man United will finish this season
Paul Merson
Paul Merson reveals his prediction for Watford v Liverpool FC
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature