Rio Ferdinand sends positive message to Chelsea fans about Eden Hazard
The Man United legend believes Eden Hazard's form upon his return from injury is good news for Chelsea for the rest of the season
Rio Ferdinand says Chelsea can take encouragement from Eden Hazard’s impressive return from injury.
The Belgium international broke his ankle during national team duty at the end of the 2016-17 season to rule the forward out of action for five months.
Hazard was a key part of Antonio Conte’s side that won the Premier League title with two games to spare last term after the winger scored 13 goals and made five assists.
The 26-year-old made a string of substitute appearances in September as Conte gradually eased his star man back into first-team action following his injury lay-off.
The Chelsea forward impressed with an assist for Alvaro Morata on his first start of the 2017-18 season in a 2-1 win at Atletico Madrid in the Champions League last week.
Hazard was unable to prevent the defending champions from losing 1-0 to title rivals Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening.
Former Manchester United defender Ferdinand believes Chelsea can take plenty of positives from Hazard’s return to the Blues team in a more central role following his extended injury lay-off.
“Playing on the left-hand side, you have a lot more defensive responsibilities, so energy is lost there,” Ferdinand told BT Sport.
“How many times did we see him having to track back coming past the half-way line last season and in seasons gone by?
“Now, he can get his little rests and when he gets the ball, he’s got the energy to cause damage and draw players out of position. The confidence that he’s showing bodes well for this Chelsea team this season.”
Chelsea won the Premier League title last term after finishing seven points clear of their closest challengers Tottenham Hotspur.
The Blues signed six players in the summer transfer window to improve their Chelsea squad.