There has been no good news, none whatsoever, regarding Chelsea in the entirety of 2015-16 and on the back of a disastrous title defence they are now merely playing for pride.
However, the Blues’ faithful can be hopeful for the future after interim boss Guus Hiddink confirmed he expects Eden Hazard to remain at Stamford Bridge for next season.
The Belgium international returned to first-team action against Bournemouth, after a six-week absence, following a hip injury he had been playing with for most of the season.
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It was to the dismay of the Cherries that the Chelsea talisman showed signs of his former self, scoring a brace to secure a comfortable 4-1 victory at Vitality Stadium on Saturday.
It was the first league goals for the PFA Player of the Year 2015 this term and he will be hoping to maintain that momentum for the final round of fixtures in the upcoming weeks.
Hazard's poor form has led to many rumours suggesting he could depart this summer but his manager Hiddink remains confident he'll stay at Stamford Bridge.
“It’s a very bad season, we do not like to neglect the facts. It’s difficult for a talented, high-quality player like Hazard. I think this season he had a very difficult season, falling into injuries coming back, nearly back, playing half a game and then falling back into injuries. It’s frustrating,” as reported by the Guardian.
“After having a bad season normally you are a little bit touched, a little bit hurt as a player and I think he has the capacity to gain it back in the coming years. I don’t know exactly but he has some more years to go [on his contract].”
Hiddink believes the winger is now content with life at Chelsea and is not contemplating a move away from west London.
“What I know he is very happy with everything in Chelsea and around Chelsea. He is very important and if he is fit as he is today showing, not fully fit, he will be very important again next season.”
In the aftermath of the infamous fall-out with former manager Jose Mourinho, the 25-year-old was linked with a move to European giants Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain.
Following the Portuguese’s departure from west London in December last year, Hiddink has steadied the ship for the Blues, salvaging some pride for the fans and the club in the subsequent stages of the season, however most of the damage had already been done.
STATS NOT SO BAD
Despite a disappointing campaign, the Belgian ace has still managed an average of 44.1 passes per game alongside 85% pass success rate in the English top-flight so far this term, as recorded by WhoScored.com.
Chelsea fans would be hoping the arrival of Antonio Conte can bring the best out of Hazard as they target domestic triumphs in 2016-17 with European football almost impossible next season.