Antonio Conte sent Chelsea warning about Eden Hazard
Charlie Nicholas warns Chelsea that it will take four games for the Belgian star to find his match sharpness following his return from injury
Charlie Nicholas has warned Chelsea that Eden Hazard is still lacking some match sharpness despite his return to Premier League action.
The Blues forward made his first Premier League appearance of the 2017-18 season following his recovery from a broken ankle.
The 26-year-old sustained the injury at the end of their title-winning campaign during international duty with Belgium.
Hazard missed Chelsea’s opening three Premier League games of their title defence that saw the west London side lost to Burnley before victories over Tottenham Hotspur and Everton.
The 2015 PFA player of the year came on as a second-half substitute for Spain international Cesc Fabregas as Chelsea eased to a 2-1 victory at Leicester City.
Chelsea have the small matter of a clash against Arsenal at Stamford Bridge this coming weekend as Antonio Conte’s side look to exact revenge for their Community Shield and FA Cup defeats at Wembley.
However, former Arsenal midfielder Nicholas believes it will take Hazard around four games to find his feet following his competitive return from injury.
“I covered Chelsea at the weekend and they were very impressive,” Nicholas told Sky Sports News on Tuesday.
“Eden Hazard looks like he’s got a bit of work to do to get his sharpness back but this is an absolutely ideal game to get him into shape.
“I do think it will take him a long time to get back to the top of his game with those slaloming runs and he needs about four games to get into the right shape.”
Hazard scored 16 times and made seven assists to help Chelsea win the Premier League title last season.
The Blues have won the Premier League crown in two of the past three campaigns.