Ross Barkley ready to help fill the void left by Eden Hazard at Chelsea


Lucas Torreira

Hazard’s last Chelsea campaign

After seven years at the club, Eden Hazard left Chelsea this summer for Real Madrid.

Hazard’s last season in a Chelsea shirt was perhaps his best individually.

In 37 Premier League outings throughout 2018/19, Hazard would score 16 and assist 15 for the Blues.

The Belgian would also score two and assist one in the 2019 Europa League final, which Chelsea won 4-1.

Chelsea went on to finish 3rd in the Premier League this past season, qualifying for the Champions League.

Given the number of goal contributions that Hazard provided during his last campaign at Stamford Bridge, it is hard to imagine that Chelsea would have finished so high last season without him.

BAKU, AZERBAIJAN – MAY 29: Eden Hazard of Chelsea celebrates after scoring his team’s third goal during the UEFA Europa League Final between Chelsea and Arsenal at Baku Olimpiya Stadionu on May 29, 2019 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

Barkley on helping replace Hazard

Frank Lampard’s side will be aiming to do exactly that, though, in the coming season.

With Hazard gone and Chelsea under a transfer ban, the Blues really need their current crop of players to step up to the plate.

And one of the players apparently ready to help replace Hazard is Ross Barkley.

Barkley was asked by the Evening Standard if he can step up in Hazard’s absence, to which the midfielder responded:

“Yes. You have to fill in. 

“Everyone in the squad understands that he was a great player, but he is gone. He has new challenges now and we have to replace his goals and create the chances.

“We have that much quality in the squad we will all step up to the plate.

“Am I ready to take that responsibility? Yes of course. Last season when Eden wasn’t playing we still won games, we still created chances. 

“We know he is an exceptional player, but we have exceptional players in the squad. We have young ones that will step up and produce the goods as well. 

“We have Callum (Hudson-Odoi) coming back from injury and we have signed Christian Pulisic (in January), he is an exceptional talent.”

Barkley has had a solid pre-season so far, which has seen him score in Chelsea’s last two friendlies vs Barcelona and Reading.

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