Chelsea legend warns Antonio Conte about Eden Hazard burning out
Pat Nevin doesn't want Chelsea star Eden Hazard to burnout over the festive schedule
Pat Nevin has warned Antonio Conte to be careful that Chelsea forward Eden Hazard doesn’t burn out.
The Belgian forward scored 16 times in Chelsea’s title-winning campaign under Conte last term after the Italian coach helped the 26-year-old to rediscover his best form following a tough 2015-16 season.
Hazard suffered a broken ankle following their Premier League title success to rule the attacker out of the start of the current campaign.
The Chelsea number 10 made his return as a substitute in a 2-1 win at Leicester City in September before he finally returned to full fitness in mid-October.
Hazard opened his Premier League account with the winner in a 1-0 victory over Bournemouth before scoring four times in his next five Premier League games.
The Belgium international scored either side of half-time in a 3-1 win against Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge last weekend to take his tally to eight goals in 18 games in all competitions.
However, former Chelsea winger Nevin doesn’t want Hazard to burn out during the demanding festive schedule.
“It is obvious that Eden is in effortlessly brilliant form right now and the temptation for Antonio is to just get him out on the pitch as much as possible, but then again, the last thing you want is burnout after the turn of the year,” Nevin told Chelsea’s website.
“There is no scientific right or wrong; the science, the stats and the medics will all have a say, but it comes down to gut feeling and experience from the manager in the end.
“Remember Eden has had quieter patches in his career, which I suspect were mostly down to injury, but tiredness and burnout could also have been factors. So this is the time to be careful because Eden would play every game for every minute if asked, even to his long-term detriment.”
Hazard scored 30 times in Chelsea’s title successes in 2014-15 and 2016-17 to underline his importance to the west London side.
The Blues signed Hazard in a big-money deal from French club Lille in 2012.