Chelsea still have quality players to cope without Eden Hazard according to Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk.
Hazard left the Blues at the end of last season and joined Real Madrid in a deal worth an initial £88million which could rise to £130m with add-ons. It was termed as a big loss to the west London club considering Chelsea’s transfer ban but Van Dijk is confident the club has quality players to cope without the Belgian.
“[Hazard] is a quality player and he was important to them but I think they have plenty of quality players,” he said ahead of their Super Cup match with Chelsea.
“I think they play a little bit different than they did last year. We will analyze them and then we will be prepared. Nothing that happened last season will have any impact on what is going to happen. It is going to be a new game.”
“For me, clearly [Hazard is] one of the best players in world football and last season, but not just last season, over his time at Chelsea he was the most productive player in the team generally, in terms of assists and goals and a leader. You cannot replace him individually, I think it’s pretty much impossible because of the high, high level he is at now in his career.”
“But the good news and the positive news for us and we must stay calm and be patient with this [is] we have a group of players, some younger players, some experienced players, that now have the opportunity to show that collectively and individually they can step up because yes, you are missing a huge amount of assists and goals, that’s clear. The answer is as a team, we have to find a way to carry on because a football club like Chelsea will always carry on. Eden Hazard, John Terry, Didier Drogba, players move on and it’s down to the next players, the next manager. That’s our big challenge now, to say good luck to Eden Hazard and to carry on as Chelsea.”
Hazard netted 16 goals while providing 15 assists in the Premier League season.