Mario Melchiot feels Chelsea lack balance because they are currently without a right-sided winger who possesses the quality to complement the team’s star man Eden Hazard on the opposite flank.
The former Blues defender, who spent five years of his playing career at Stamford Bridge, hinted that neither Willian nor January signing Juan Cuadrado are good enough for this current Chelsea side.
"I am a big fan of Hazard. Whenever I watch Chelsea play I always feel when he gets on the ball they really start clicking. But going forward it's all about Hazard,” Melchiot told Reuters. "That's why sometimes they miss a little bit of balance because they also need someone on the right who can create as much difficulty and problems for the opposition as Hazard does on the left."
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Hazard is Chelsea's star man
Hazard, who is the current favourite to win the PFA Player of the Year award following a superb campaign with the Blues, played an instrumental role as Chelsea secured a huge three points against Stoke City on Saturday.
The Belgium international scored the opening goal of the match from the penalty spot - his 17th goal of the season - and then provided the assist for Loic Remy’s second-half winner.
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Hazard is better than Willian and Cuadrado
While Melchiot might be correct in his assessment that Hazard is clearly Chelsea’s best attacking winger, few players in world football are in same class as the 24-year-old.
Willian has been an effective signing for Chelsea since arriving from Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala in 2013, but has only managed to score eight goals in 76 appearances.
Cuadrado, meanwhile, has struggled since his £23.3 million transfer from Fiorentina. The Colombia international is still finding his feet in English football, however, and the best is surely yet to come from the 26-year-old.
Melchiot praises Matic
Melchiot also reserved special praise for Serbian midfielder Nemanja Matic, hailing the 26-year-old as an even more important player for Jose Mourinho’s side than Cesc Fabregas.
"Cesc Fabregas is one of the architects in the middle but at this point the player who is really important in midfield is Matic," the former Netherlands international added. "When the towering Peter Crouch came on as a late substitute for Stoke you could see the job Matic was doing to protect Chelsea.
"This team depends on his positioning and the way he makes the team so strong defensively. Then, going forward it's all about Hazard.”
Melchiot is being harsh on Willian and Cuadrado
Willian is not as gifted as the magnificent Hazard but very few wingers in world football are.
Melchiot failed to name a right-sided winger who could potentially replace Willian or Cuadrado, although one suspects he may have been thinking about his compatriot Arjen Robben or potentially Gareth Bale at Real Madrid.
But these type of players are rare, and very difficult for Chelsea - or any other club for that matter - to sign, despite the huge financial resources available to them.
Chelsea fans: are Willian and Juan Cuadrado good enough for the Blues? Have your say in the comments below!
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