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Three options Chelsea have to replace Eden Hazard if he leaves next summer

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Eden Hazard hit the headlines once again this week by revealing that he's made a decision on his future.

Since establishing himself as one of the world's best players, he's been linked with a move away from Chelsea and Real Madrid are the team expected to land him.  

"I know what I am going to do, I have made a decision," Hazard said in an interview with RMC, per the Mirror.  

Although the Belgian hasn't actually announced what that choice is, many fans are concluding that he's on his way out of Stamford Bridge. 

After all, he's been flirting with Los Blancos for a number of years now and with his contract at Chelsea running down, the club will have to cash-in this summer or risk losing him for nothing. 

So, it might be time for Hazard to wave goodbye to the Premier League, after seven sparking seasons in England.  

REPLACING HAZARD

If Chelsea lose their talisman, who's bagged 15 goals and 10 assists in this campaign alone, there will be a massive gap to fill.

But, that might not be all bad news. Replacing Hazard could be an exciting opportunity for Chelsea to bring in another big name. Or, they could even start planning for the future. 

Chelsea FC v Huddersfield Town - Premier League

So, if Hazard does leave this summer, here are three ways Chelsea could line-up without him. 

BRINGING IN AN ESTABLISHED NAME

Selling their star man to Real would see the Blues command a huge transfer fee - likely to rise above £100 million and Roman Abramovich could choose to re-invest that money. 

There are a number of top stars in Europe who would be open to a move to London - and one of those is Hirving Lozano. 

FBL-EUR-C3-EINDHOVEN-TOTTENHAM

The Mexican forward is comfortable on both wings and is having a great season with PSV in the Eredivisie. 

"Chucky" scored against Spurs in the Champions League and has already been tipped by his national coach, Juan Carlos Osorio, to make an impact in the Premier League one day.  

Here's how the Blues would line-up if he signs. 

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Lozano might well be top of the list, but there are other players that Chelsea could land too. 

Leon Bailey has been liked with a move in the past, while Maurizio Sarri may also favour raiding his former club Napoli for Lorenzo Insigne instead.

BUSINESS ALREADY DONE?

Chelsea have a second option - and it comes in the form of Christian Pulisic.

Borussia Dortmund v Club Brugge - UEFA Champions League Group A

The American joined the Blues last month for around £58 million before being loaned straight back to Borussia Dortmund. 

At the time, he wasn't seen as a direct replacement for Hazard. But those circumstances could change. 

It makes very little sense for Chelsea to spend even more money on a forward when their January purchase hasn't even landed yet. Pulisic should at least be given an opportunity to fill the hole. 

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However, it sounds like Sarri had little say in the move and that could be a problem. The boss might prefer to bring in a player he wants and trusts instead.

That is, if he's actually still in charge next season. 

CREATING FUTURE STARS

There is one more option too and it might be the one that Chelsea fans favour the most. 

Rather than signing a new name, Sarri could finally utilize Callum Hudson-Odoi and give him a starting role at Stamford Bridge which would show clear intent of building for the future.  

Chelsea v Sheffield Wednesday - FA Cup Fourth Round

If he does, there's nothing stopping Chelsea playing Pulisic on one wing and Hudson-Odoi on the other. Both are under the age of 21 and could form a top partnership that could last for years. 

Here's how the team could line-up - with a more youthful look. 

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But, the nature of the club suggests that might be difficult. Abramovich usually prefers short-term success over long-term planning. 

If Chelsea don't win any silverware this season or finish outside the top four, then an emphasis will be put on competing for those things next year - and there would be little room for young stars. 

A TOUGH DECISION

If Hazard does leave in the summer, Chelsea will no doubt feel his absence, but they will also have a number of exciting options going forward. 

Chelsea FC v Huddersfield Town - Premier League

Will Abramovich splash the cash to ensure short-term success, or can Sarri build for the future? Have your say in the comments below. 

Topics:
Football
Hirving Lozano
Maurizio Sarri
Lorenzo Insigne
Eden Hazard
La Liga
Real Madrid
Premier League
Chelsea

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