Chelsea winger Eden Hazard has claimed defender kick him so much because he is too good. The Chelsea forward is regularly one of the most fouled players in the league, and currently tops the standings with 59 fouls suffered this season – 10 more than any other player.
Hazard has not allowed himself to be cowed, though, and has been involved in 19 Premier League goals this season – an average of over one a game and more than anyone else in the division. He told Chelsea’s website: “Sometimes it’s tough, for seven years I have got kicked all the time. But now I take care of my ankles, my knees! We have one of the best medical departments in the world.
“I don’t like to say I like it, but when people kick me it gives me a feeling that I am too good or they just want to stop me and they can’t. That gives me extra power to do something magic.” Hazard has been deployed as a false nine by head coach Maurizio Sarri in recent weeks, with strikers Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud being left out in favour of the Belgian. He has previously expressed his preference for playing on the wing, but having scored three in his last four games, Hazard is now more positive about playing centrally.
He said: “Sarri told me before the season started that playing as a number nine could be an option. “It is good not just to be a target man, but also as a false nine where I can move, I can drop, I can go deep, I can go on the wing. “I like to change a lot, but we also have two great strikers. We will see. It depends on who is on the pitch.”