John Barnes believes Chelsea are over reliant on Eden Hazard

Liverpool legend-turned-pundit John Barnes believes Chelsea are overly reliant on Eden Hazard since the new Premier League season has begun. The Belgium international has started the campaign in a flourishing fashion with five goals from as many matches and this has propelled his side to the top of the standings on goal difference to Liverpool.

Despite this, Barnes believes Hazard’s form could be a warning sign for the Blues, given they could struggle when the goals dry up for the Belgian attacker, he said: “I think they are overly reliant on Hazard. I think if Hazard gets injured, they really are overly reliant on him. If he drops form and he doesn’t score, he’s not an out and out scorer. We have spoken and I told him he can score 40 goals. He has to improve some things, but he can do it.”

Hazard’s future has been called into question during the summer after he suggested that he could move on after six years with the west London giants. However, the Belgian later clarified that he is content to stay put with the Blues for the ongoing campaign and the decision has paid dividends with him making a rollicking start under Maurizio Sarri.

Unlike with former coach Antonio Conte, Hazard has been offered the license to stay higher up the pitch regardless of the team losing ball possession and this appears to have brought the best of him with his hat-trick against Cardiff City last weekend being his first for the club since 2014. Regardless of this, the lack of goals from Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud should remain a concern, though the latter flourished in the role of the target man versus Cardiff where he contributed a couple of assists for Hazard. Chelsea next league meeting comes against West Ham United on the road but before that, they make the trip to Greece to face PAOK in the Europa League opener on Thursday night.

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