Top Premier League Goalkeepers in 2018/19: Kepa Arrizabalaga

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On reflection Kepa Arrizabalaga has had a very successful debut season with Chelsea. The Spaniard moved from Athletic Bilbao for a huge fee €80m which made him the most expensive goalkeeper of all time at age just 24.

But Kepa has repaid the faith shown in Chelsea. He starred in a season that saw the Blues win the Europa League- their first European silverware since 2013. He helped the club finish in 3rd place and gain automatic Champions League qualification, though the Europa League win achieved that anyway. Chelsea lost just 2 games at home and they also reached the Carabao Cup final matching Manchester City throughout 120 minutes of football the game ended 0-0 but they lost on penalties.

Kepa is an excellent shot stopper with a potentially fantastic career ahead of him but at the same time if we talk about the Carabao Cup final we have to mention his low point this season. In the final Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri called for the Kepa to be substituted- he want fresh hands in the form of Willy Caballero for the penalty shoot out. But Kepa refused to come off. In the end he was dropped for the next game in favour of Caballero and fined a week’s wages.

But there are many positives to take from Kepa’s first season. He started the season off by keeping a clean sheet as Chelsea beat Huddersfield 3-0 and earned 7 points in the process. Overall he kept a clean sheet 14 times. His best period was the New Year, where he kept 2 clean sheets in a row, earning 14 points in a row. If there is to be a few criticisms of him it’s that he did not remain consistent throughout the season. This is shown in his final points tally of 62. Alisson ranked the number 1 goalkeeper in European Fantasy League earned more than double that.

The biggest low point for Kepa was when Chelsea were crushed 6-0 by eventual champions Manchester City. Kepa finished that weekend losing 10 points.

But there is a lot of hope for a goalkeeper who is still learning at the very highest level and one that on his debut season still finished ranked 3rd in the Premier League. His value this season in the fantasy league was just 6m and that is sure to rise for the beginning of next season where he will of course remain a Chelsea player after signing a 7 year contract with the Blues.

Kepa has his wish next season to be in the Champions League and it will also be interesting to see if he can break his points tally for this season. He has also ousted Manchester United’s David de Gea from the Spanish squad as first choice goalkeeper, so the future looks great for the 24 year old.

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Final round in Serie A’s Coaching Carousel

Halfway through June we are starting to get a lot more clarity on the remaining seats on the coaching carousel in Serie A. Here’s the latest on the remaining vacant jobs:

 

Marco Giampaolo set to become Milan’s next manager

 

The worst kept secret in Calcio is currently the identity of the rossoneri’s next manager. Once the club’s new hierarchy at director level is revealed, we can expect Giampaolo’s arrival to be finally announced. The former Empoli manager’s style of play has been heavily influenced by Maurizio Sarri and his knack to develop players in recent years (Torreira, Skriniar, Schick who was sold for a huge fee to Roma) fits quick well with Gazidis’ vision for the club- acquire players before they become stars.

Giampaolo is arguably the best manager Milan has had since Allegri left, certainly at least on the offensive side of the equation. Piatek will likely continue to strive and could be very well suited to a formation with two strikers and a trequartista as impressive as Paqueta behind him, it feels like Berlusconi will enjoy watching this version of his former club.

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Maurizio Sarri brings a new vision to Juventus 

 

I guess you should be careful what you wish for. Many of the Juventus fans who demanded Max Allegri’s head on a platter because he was so pragmatic with his style, are now horrified to find out he’ll be replaced by the manager who gave them the middle finger when his Napoli travelled to Turin to face Juventus in a key match in the scudetto race.

Sarri will certainly bring a radically different style to Juventus. Gone are the days of doing the bare minimum to win, with the top talent available to him in Turin, Sarri should be able to consistently play with the same flare we saw at Allianz Stadium when Juventus defeated Atletico Madrid 3-0.

Gaining the fan’s base acceptance won’t be easy for Sarri, but he can draw inspiration from his predecessors. Allegri had rocks thrown at his car when he arrived for his first training session, while the best Juventus managers of past 40 years (Lippi, Trapattoni and Conte) had won no trophies before joining Juventus, they became great coaches in Turin.

 

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Paulo Fonseca officially joins Roma

While Roma failed to land Conte, Sarri and Mihajlovic who dropped out of contention for the job because he was concerned with how he would be received by the fan base, the giallorossi may have found a great fit for their team regardless.

While the Ukrainian league is far from competitive, Fonseca handled the pressure of replacing a legend like Lucescu very well and brought an offensive minded style to the team. Zaniolo, Kluivert, Under (assuming he stays) should fit very well in his 4 2 3 1 and Rudi Garcia, who arrived to Roma from abroad, had a very successful start to his tenure at the club.

 

Vincenzo Montella to stay at Fiorentina?

 

While the former Milan manager struggled significantly upon replacing Stefano Pioli, he’s expected to return as the Viola’s manager next season after signing a multi year deal when he was hired. Sporting director Panteleo Corvino took the fall for the Viola’s disastrous season and was officially let go on Tuesday.

Montella will likely have a short leash since Corvino’s replacement Prade’ may want to appoint his own manager should the team get off to a slow start.

 

Eusebio Di Francesco to Sampdoria?

 

Speaking of Stefano Pioli, since last week he seemed like the front runner to replace Giampaolo in Liguria. But Sampdoria’s president Ferrero met with Di Francesco to gauge his interest, while he would be an appealing candidate, the former Roma manager is asking for a significant salary on top of a guarantee he’ll have a competitive squad.

Considering that Sampdoria could be sold and the club is expected to cash in on a few key players regardless of what happens at the ownership level, Pioli is probably a safer pick to be the next manager.

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Aurelio Andreazzoli to Genoa?

 

With one former Empoli manager on his way out in Liguria, we could have another one coming in to Sampdoria’s cross town rivals. Andreazzoli gave a massive spark to the Tuscan club when he returned at the end of the season, the final match at San Siro against Inter was just an example of how well the team was playing in the final stretch.

Andreazzoli also developed numerous players in his tenure at Empoli (Di Lorenzo, Zajc, Traore’ to name a few) and could also bring Bennacer and Caputo to his new team. Genoa had a very difficult season after foolishly letting go of Davide Ballardini, after Juric and Prandelli failed to get the team back on track, Andreazzoli is the ideal candidate to give the club a fresh start.

Rugani set to benefit from Sarri appointment

Recently, it’s been heavily reported that Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri is nearing an exit, and is close to signing a contract with Italian champions Juventus. This comes following a successful season in London, that saw the Italian tactician steer the English giants back into the Champions League after a solid third-place finish, and claim the Europa League in emphatic fashion.

Despite his success, Sarri intends on leaving, and is likely returning to Italy with the bianconeri as front-runners for his signature. According to Italian media outlets, the former Napoli boss feels his work at Chelsea went under-appreciated, and is leaving as a result of this. While Juventus’ offensive players will be licking their lips at the prospect of Sarriball, including a certain Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala, one player to keep an eye on is Daniele Rugani.

The defender had a torrid season under Massimiliano Allegri, and failed to take his game to the next level, as many expected him to. Every time he featured, Juventus’ rearguard looked shaky, and never had any sense of cohesion. However, Rugani is a player Sarri has valued for a long time now, and even pushed for his signing when he was at Napoli. Even if it never materialized, it shows Sarri holds the defender in high regard.

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When the pair were together at Empoli, the young defender was a crucial part in the tactician’s setup, and played an integral part to his possession-based buildup out of the back. Outside of his confidence on the ball, Rugani was a lockdown defender in Tuscany, something that he has since failed to translate to Juventus.

At Juventus, it’s been a complete different story for the centre-back. Often playing second fiddle to Leonardo Bonucci, Mehdi Benatia or Giorgio Chiellini, Rugani has struggled for consistency, and has looked a shade of his former self when called upon. This season, the former Empoli man was regularly bested by physical opposition, and often looked timid in possession. With Bonucci and Chiellini on the wrong side of thirty, it’s time Rugani steps up and delivers on the hype.

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While question marks remain over his ability due to his recent exploits, Rugani was fantastic at Empoli under Sarri, and proved to be one of the league’s top defenders. Should Sarri join the bianconeri, as it’s largely being reported by the ever reliable Romeo Agresti, expect Rugani to have a bigger role at the club. In addition to the added responsibility, the 24-year-old will have the complete faith of his manager, something that might have been lacking under Allegri.

With his newfound confidence, Rugani will experience a resurgence of sorts, and could potentially develop into the defender many expected him to be. Under Sarri, much like it was the case at Empoli, Rugani could continue his progression as a ball-playing defender. In recent times, this aspect to Rugani’s game has stagnated, as he has focused solely on defending.

With his risk-averse mentality holding him back, Rugani hasn’t been able to demonstrate his complete ability, and has since been labelled a flop. That being said, expect the tune to change under Sarri’s guidance and witness Rugani reborn. After all, it may just be his last shot at redemption in Turin.

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Arsenal destroyed in Europa League final by Chelsea and Eden Hazard

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Usually same country finals can be incredibly close affairs. Look at when AC Milan and Juventus battled for 120 minutes in the 2003 Champions League final and still the game ended 0-0 and needed to go to penalties. Chelsea and Manchester United in the 2008 final ended 1-1 and Bayern Munich squeezed past Borussia Dortmund in the 2013 final. Close and tense, and for the first half this Europa League final was just that, until Chelsea moved up a gear.

In the end this wasn’t a beating that Arsenal took but a total battering, and this was against a Chelsea side who aren’t even at their strongest if we compare the team from a few seasons ago. But the natural reserve and quality in the team was simply too much for the Gunners to handle.

Once the second half got under way there was only one team in it and it was evident that Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri had got the desired affect in the dressing room at half time. Chelsea came charging out of the blocks and were 1-0 up within five minutes of the re start. It came from Olivier Giroud the ex Arsenal player and it was a simply stunning goal, a header from 20 yards out that caught out Petr Cech in goal. The goals followed which included a brace from Eden Hazard far and away Chelsea’s best player of the decade if not the Premier League’s. This will have surely been his last game for the Blues before his expected move to Real Madrid in the summer.

Ex Arsenal player Martin Keown seemed to sum it all up by saying Chelsea have Hazard and Arsenal have Mesut Ozil, and it was hard to argue with him. Ozil’s time at Arsenal will not be remembered and for whatever reason the playmaker has been a huge failure at the club only showing slight glimpses of what he is capable of. He has cut a frustrated figure at Arsenal for years now and surely enough is enough and he will not be back in an Arsenal shirt- if anything both parties need a change.

This match simply showed the gulf between the two clubs even if their league finish was close in the end. When it all really mattered Arsenal simply didn’t have it. And yet in Alex Iwobi’s consolation goal they probably got the best one of the night.

Petr Cech played his final professional game and how ironic it was against the team that made his career. He will now join Chelsea as a goalkeeping coach for next season. It is also ironic that even though Arsenal conceded 4 goals that Cech actually had a decent game and he kept the score more respectable because it could have been 7 or 8 in the end. Every time Chelsea went forward in the 2nd half it looked like they were going to score.

Sarri has been proven right and it will be interesting to see if he will stay with the club or leave and join up with Juventus? There must be a huge temptation to go to Juventus given that Chelsea could be banned from buying any players this summer and their play maker Hazard is leaving, why should Sarri stay?

His opposite number Unai Emery cut a sad figure. It felt as if he couldn’t believe that he wasn’t going to win a 4th Europa League trophy after his successes with Sevilla earlier in the decade. At times he looked bitter and angry and perhaps the realisation of the job at his hands has been laid bare.

Emery has had a decent season in some ways. Reaching a European final in his debut year was very good. But at the same time his appointment was all about moving on from Arsene Wenger, which hasn’t happened and now Arsenal will have to play in the Europa League next season as well. His real judgment needs to be delayed until next season and it will be interesting to see who he sells and who he brings in the summer, it is a big season for Emery, who knows he won’t be afforded the time that Wenger had.

As for Chelsea a huge congratulations to them for winning the London final. That is the clubs 3rd European trophy in 8 seasons and even though they have had their up and down moments they have had a strong few years in England and in Europe.

Where next for Simone Inzaghi?

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Since being appointed as Lazio’s interim head coach in 2016, Simone Inzaghi has transformed the biancocelesti into one of the league’s most compact sides, and has consistently delivered silverware, winning the Supercoppa in 2017 against Juventus, and most recently claiming the Coppa Italia this season after dispatching Atalanta. The two trophies are indicative of Inzaghi’s good work at the club, but it may be time for the Italian tactician to consider his future, and evaluate the possibility of joining one of Italy’s elite.

With both Juventus, and Milan considering him for their managerial vacancy, Inzaghi would be wise to wait before committing his future to Lazio. While club president Claudio Lotito and Inzaghi have an excellent rapport – to a point where the former views his tactician as ‘his son’ – it’s time Inzaghi demands more.

Given the current roster at his disposal, it’s clear Inzaghi’s gotten the most out of them, and has arguably seen his side peak. If they are to build off their two trophies, and consistently qualify for the Champions League, an aspiration shared by the entire club, they will undoubtedly need reinforcements. Going into next season, Lazio could arguably use another centre-back, a wing-back, and another striker to compete with Immobile and Caicedo.

Since Inzaghi’s hiring, Lotito has been conservative in the transfer market, and has opted for minor reinforcements rather than a complete squad upheaval. While this helps build chemistry, Lazio will need to dip into their transfer funds if they want to compete with the Milan clubs, and fierce rivals Roma. As the competition grows, so does their need to spend.

If Lotito guarantees Inzaghi a higher salary and more say on the transfer market, the Italian tactician should heavily consider remaining at Lazio for the foreseeable future. However, the managerial vacancy at Juventus may complicate affairs.

The bianconeri are far and away the best side in Italy, and don’t look like they’ll be slowing down anytime soon. Armed with Cristiano Ronaldo, coaching Juventus is an enticing prospect for any manager, let alone an up and coming Italian one like Inzaghi. Given his positive relationship with Fabio Paratici that goes back to their childhood, the Lazio tactician could emerge as a front-runner for the role. His experience in Serie A will undoubtedly put him near the top of Juve’s list, but he’s not there alone.

In recent times, Chelsea’s Maurizio Sarri and Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino have also been linked to the vacancy. In any case, joining Juventus would allow Inzaghi to take the next step in his career, and is a unique opportunity to grow his trophy case and reputation within the peninsula.

Milan, on the other hand, are frankly a less enticing option at the moment, but their appeal cannot be discounted. Despite their recent struggles, the rossoneri remain one of the league’s sleeping giants, and have improved significantly since last season. A lot, however, will depend on Champions League qualification, and whether or not, they will pip Inter or Atalanta to the final spot.

If they manage to claim top four, and promise to reinforce in key areas notably centre-back and left-wing, Inzaghi may be tempted to abandon his Lazio post for greener pastures.

While managing the biancocelesti has given Inzaghi the exposure and the necessary experience to take the next step from the primavera, managing one of Juventus or Milan may be an opportunity he can’t afford to turn down at this point in his career. After all, there aren’t many top class managers currently on the market, and by mere process of elimination, Inzaghi may find himself in contention for the jobs.

Much like he has done his entire career, expect Inzaghi to seize the opportunity and continue to propel his managerial career forward. That is, unless, Lotito makes him an offer he can’t refuse…

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FIFA are correct to uphold decision to ban Chelsea for two transfer windows and Sarri should be happy with the outcome

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Chelsea have been told by FIFA that they will indeed serve a two window transfer ban which was imposed on them earlier in the season for breaching signing of youngsters and that means the club will not be able to sign any new players until the summer of 2020.

Chelsea will appeal to the courts of attribution but could be likely to lose. Whilst Chelsea should be punished, one cannot get away from the fact that UEFA are not promoting the game in the right direction. Unless one truly hates the club does anyone associated with football want to tie two hands behind a clubs back? Chelsea could win the Europa League enter the Champions League and not be able to buy any new players. Basically killing their chances of winning the competition before they have even started.

On top of that Chelsea have the problem of Eden Hazard their star player who looks like he will be leaving the club in the summer to join Real Madrid. This was further highlighted when the star player was seen nodding his head in a no fashion when fans asked him to stay at the club last week.

Surely the situation is a harsh one for the club who, yes, should receive a ban this summer but not extended to two windows. Ideally why not fine the club £500,000 and give back to hospitals or put back into the grassroots of the game. After all the ban won’t hurt as much as not being out of a little pocket for the club.

Of course the good news if the club are to be banned for purchasing players is that Maurizio Sarri’s job will be safe. It was oddly under threat a few months ago, even though he has steered Chelsea to a Europa League final, a Carabao Cup final and a top 4 place ensuring Champions League football either way next season, that’s not too bad for your debut season surely?

Still who will want to join the club now knowing you can’t buy any players for over a year? That would be like playing Monopoly and going round the board several times until your rivals all have the properties they want. In that sense Sarri suddenly holds all of the cards and with a strong link to Roma, Sarri may just think enough is enough and walk in the summer if he is not being respected at the club.

For now Chelsea are doing well, but the future hardly looks bright.

 

Despite third-place finish and Europa League final, Sarri’s Chelsea future is in doubt

By almost any measure, Maurizio Sarri has done a good job in his first season as Chelsea manager. A scoreless stalemate at Leicester City on Sunday, together with Tottenham Hotspur’s 2-2 draw with Everton, secured a third-place finish in the Premier League. The Blues also reached the final of the EFL Cup, which they were a little unfortunate to lose to Manchester City on penalties, and are one game away from winning a European trophy for the fifth time in the club’s history. All things considered, it has been far from a bad campaign.

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Chelsea’s top 4 finish is likely over but hope remains for Europa League glory

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If Chelsea do indeed end the Premier League season outside of the top 4 then they went out of the battle with a whimper after a 2-2 draw against Burnley at Stamford Bridge.

It was a game that the Blues fought hard for in the first half as they went behind in the early exchanges and by the 25th minute mark the game had already had 4 goals, echoing the excitement of the recent Champions League fixture between Manchester City and Tottenham. But while both of those teams should finish top 4- City is guaranteed of course, Chelsea look like they have blown that chance.

Chelsea are level with Tottenham on points which is all well and good but Tottenham have a spare game which they will play tonight, at home against the bottom club Huddersfield, in what should be an inevitable, comfortable win. There is also the case of Arsenal making that top 4 charge and it looks like both Chelsea and Manchester United will be the teams to miss out on Champions League football next season.

A win was expected against Sean Dyche’s Burnley and perhaps this match where Chelsea are playing a bottom half team at home summarised the clubs season in that they have stayed within their comfort zone and only looked like the team that coach Maurizio Sarri has a vision for when playing in the Europa League.

The Europa League has clearly become a priority for the club and they have been brilliant in a very tough competition. Beating Slavia Prague and scoring 5 goals past them in both legs was superb given how Prague had knocked out Europa League specialists Sevilla in the previous round.

Winning the competition is one major trophy and it is also a gateway into the Champions League even if the club do finish 5th or 6th, so there is all to play for. Chelsea will meet Germans Eintract Frankfurt, who are superb at home but wasteful away and the Blues will be favourites to advance to the final where they would meet either Valencia or a mouth watering clash against fellow Premier League team and Londoners Arsenal. Perhaps the neutral wants the all English final but football has never been that easy to predict.

As for the league, one wonders if the egos of the club have the fight left in them. Chelsea’s next match is away to Manchester United in another potentially explosive game as both will be rolling the dice, perhaps for the final time to reach a top 4 spot. In between their Europa League semi-final they will play Watford at home and round up the season with an away match against Leicester.

It’s very conceivable that Chelsea won’t win another game this season and it is very clear that all of their eggs are in the Europa League basket.

 

Napoli’s season is on the brink- did Sarri see this coming?

 

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On paper the plan made perfect sense. Hiring Carlo Ancelotti to replace Maurizio Sarri was a big statement for Napoli- he’s of course a big name manager in the football world who just with his arrival elevated the club’s brand. Following the James Bond themed announcement of his hire, the former Milan and Real Madrid manager embraced the city from day one and on the pitch immediately showed he was determined to avoid his predecessor’s mistakes.

Even before fatigue could accumulate, Ancelotti started rotating his players, as a matter a fact he used twelve different lineups to start the season. But that wasn’t the only thing Carletto did differently than his predecessor- he also showed a lot of tactical flexibility with formations while also keeping some of the best elements of Sarriball.

While last season Napoli prioritized winning the scudetto over all other competitions, Ancelotti’s version of the partenopeisaved their best performances for Europe. Even though they were eliminated in this edition of the group of death of the Champions League, Napoli’s performances against Liverpool at the San Paolo and in France against Paris St Germain, gave many a lot of hope they could actually win the Europa League where ironically they could face their former manager Maurizio Sarri.

Considering that by the start of 2019 Juventus had a huge lead in Serie A, the partenopei had all of their eggs in the Europa League basket, but after last night’s loss to Arsenal in London, their season is on the brink of turning into a failure when they take to the pitch against the Gunners to try to overturn the 0-2 deficit.

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In a way Maurizio Sarri saw this coming. After surpassing the 90 points threshold last season and not winning the scudetto, something that had never happened in Serie A’s history, Sarrireportedly felt that he had taken this group of players as far as they could go and that the only way was down- he decided it would be best to move on rather than oversee the decline of his hometown club.

There also were growing expectations in the city of Naples after such an intriguing title race against Juventus, the bar had been substantially raised and nothing short of winning a significant trophy (Coppa Italia wasn’t going to cut it) was going to cut it with the fans. Unless Napoli can somehow overturn the result from the first leg, for many this will be considered a very disappointing season when you consider how much bigger the gap with Juventus is points wise.

Taking a step back in Serie A was to be expected also because of Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival at Juventus, but there also quite a few internal reasons at Napoli that Sarri almost certainly saw coming. In the NFL the team that loses the Super Bowl typically doesn’t even make it to the playoffs the following, in part because of the hang over effect of losing after getting so close to the promised land.

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While Napoli received a significant spark from new additions Fabian Ruiz and goal keeper Alex Meret, quite a few of the veterans on the squad took a step back. Hysaj went from being considered one of the best right backs in Serie A to being almost irrelevant, while Callejon is still very generous with his effort, he’s nowhere near as effective as he was under Sarri, Ghoulamand Albiol have dealt with injuries most of the season and even stand outs like Insigne and Allan have struggled in the new year after a very impressive start under Ancelotti, even Zielinski and especially Diawara failed to become replacements for Hamsikand Jorginho respectively.

To continue this trend, we’ve seen Arkadiusz Milik and Nikola Maksimovic- who for different reasons struggled to find space under Sarri- be arguably the only two Napoli players who improved on their performances under Ancelotti compared to the previous regime.

If the idea that Napoli’s current squad would inevitably take a step back this season was truly Sarri’smain motivation to move on, he’s so far being proven right- the only way to turn this narrative around is to go all the way in the Europa League- starting with the return leg against Arsenal when Napoli’s season will be on the brink.

Can Chelsea star Eden Hazard rise up to the occasion and derail Liverpool’s title dream?

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We already knew how great a player Eden Hazard was coming into the new English Premier League season  and there has been rumours surrounding the Belgian with a big money move to Real Madrid in the summer, but at the tail end of the season Hazard has to prove just how good he really is.

Hazard has scored 16 times and assisted in 12 other goals which is a fantastic record and Chelsea are now up to 3rd place. However the likes of Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United could well relegate the Blues to 6th, a position they have occupied for the last month.

All in all it hasn’t been a great season for Chelsea with their league title chances evaporating before Christmas and everyone will remember when they were destroyed 6-0 by the champions Manchester City.

Chelsea did reach the Carabao Cup final where they were unlucky to lose to Manchester City losing the final on the dreaded penalty shoot out. The club are in the Europa League quarter finals and Hazard has the opportunity to end his career with the London club by winning the competition.

Hazard has been brilliant with Chelsea and brilliant this season, but the problem for the 28 year old is he hasn’t been consistent. Surely that is what separates the great from the geniuses of the game? Can Hazard make the step up to Real Madrid? Yes he can but if he doesn’t perform on a regular basis, one wonders if the move could be a bad career one for him. Still the lure of playing for the side will be too great. Another question that must be posed is, does Zidane need or want him? We will find out in the summer months.

But back to now and the Premier League. And Hazard was showered with praise after his superb display against West Ham and he got a brace in that win. But with all due respect to West Ham, they are not of the same quality as Liverpool, and that is Chelsea’s next opponent.

The question is, can Hazard’s brilliance defeat Liverpool at Anfield? If Zidane is wondering about Hazard or any other top club for that matter they will be looking closely at a game where Liverpool have looked almost unstoppable this season, especially at home where they have yet to lose a game.

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If Hazard is that good and wants to be considered a different level player one suspects he is being asked to show it. Or will we get a quiet game from the maestro only summarising his career with one week looking great the next looking average.

Let’s not forget how big the Liverpool game is. Manchester City will be keeping a close eye on the game of course but this is massive also for Chelsea in trying to finish in the top four.

If Hazard cannot help deliver a top 4 place for Maurizio Sarri’s team may be he will always be known as a very good player instead of a brilliant one which he has been touted about for some time. Bottom line is he needs to show his worth against a quality side away from home like Liverpool, and this weekend he is going to be presented with that very chance.