Monday, October 14, 2019

Europa League win could convince Hazard to stay at Chelsea – Gudjohnsen

SoccerNews in English Premier League 11 Apr 2019

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Eden Hazard may be more inclined to stay at Chelsea and ignore any potential interest from Real Madrid if the Blues win the Europa League, according to Eidur Gudjohnsen.

Belgium international Hazard’s contract at Stamford Bridge expires in 2020 and he has been repeatedly linked to Madrid, rumours he has refused to be drawn on.

Former Chelsea forward Gudjohnsen left Chelsea for Barcelona in 2006 so knows all about the lure of Spain’s big clubs, yet he believes winning this year’s Europa League, and consequently qualifying for the Champions League, could be a factor in Hazard’s decision.

Maurizio Sarri’s side are in the quarter-finals of the competition and face Slavia Prague in the first leg on Thursday.

Gudjohnsen, who was speaking on the UEFA Europa League Trophy Tour driven by Kia, told Omnisport: “It’s difficult and dependent on your situation – dependent on what your desires and your dreams are.

“I don’t know Eden Hazard personally, he’s always spoken very fondly of Chelsea and how happy he is there.

“It just depends on what he sees happening in the future – maybe Champions League football will make a huge difference for him.

“That gives it even more importance for Chelsea to go on and win this cup, if they don’t manage to qualify through the Premier League.

“Eden Hazard is obviously one of the best players in the Premier League, a player with probably the most quality.

“[I am] a bit uncertain over what his future holds, but I think at the end of the season we’ll have a lot of these questions answered.”

Hazard has scored 19 times in all competitions for the Blues in what is coach Sarri’s first campaign at the helm.

Chelsea’s fans have expressed their displeasure with Sarri’s style of play in recent weeks, though they reached the EFL Cup final, in which they were beaten on penalties by Manchester City, are still in the Europa League and are third in the Premier League.

Gudjohnsen insists Sarri’s season can only be deemed a success or a failure once it has finished.

“Results haven’t always been great, [there has been] a lot of criticism of the style of play,” he added.

“You can only judge a manager at the end of the season. When you look back and say, ‘Have we done enough as a team?’ 

“I think the players have to also take their responsibility, they should all be in this together, but it’s been a difficult season because of performances and results.

“They can be brilliant one week and unrecognisable the next, but it’s been a difficulty finding balance. But, in saying that, if they go on and win [the Europa League], we’ll look back and say it was a success.”

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