Eden Hazard has declared Chelsea’s newest generation of serial winners ready to rumble.
With John Terry set to join the likes of Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole in completing his tour of duty, Hazard is one of several key men determined to show there are still leaders able to step up at the Bridge.
“The last 10 years at Chelsea has been great.” said the Belgian. “They won a lot of trophies, now it’s like a new generation.
“Lampard is finished, Didier Drogba is finished, Ashley Cole, John Terry now. So it’s a new generation, and we want to prove that the club is one of the best in the world. So we have to be ready for that.”
Hazard has been outstanding this season with 16 goals to help shoot Chelsea to their second title in three years. Now he wants to see off Arsenal, lead Antonio Conte’s Blues to the League and FA Cup double and continue taking responsibility as Terry did.
“I am now playing my fifth year at Chelsea.” he added. “We also have other guys who have a lot of experience, so we are ready. We have a couple of leaders – I try to be one on the pitch. We have a lot of guys who can do that.
“It’s normal, sometimes people they leave the club. John is a legend for us, the club, for all the fans. Next season he’s not here anymore, but some of the guys they are ready to take this opportunity.
“We have this new manager, we have a couple of young players so everything is ready to build something.”
Signed in June 2012 for £32million, Hazard has justified the outlay with the Europa League and the League Cup also among his successes.
Individual acclaim has come too with the awards from the PFA and the Football Writers for his feats during the 2014-15 season.
Real Madrid have expressed an interest in signing him this summer but Hazard has already made it clear that he has unfinished business with the Blues with one significant trophy still to win.
He went on: “I signed for Chelsea and in my head it was to win titles.
“I’ve already won two Premier Leagues, one League Cup, one Europa League. It’s not bad – but it can be better! The FA Cup and Champions League, why not?”
Could he, one day, get the kind of gushing send-off that Terry received last weekend?
“Like him, no chance!” laughed Hazard. “But you know I’m still young, I’m still 26. I don’t think about it if I could be like him that would be good.
“He did something great in his career. I didn’t win a lot – yet. I won a couple of titles, but him everything. I hope to have the same opportunities.”
Hazard was among the players criticised for the poor campaign which resulted in the sacking of Jose Mourinho in December 2015.
He and his Blues team-mates, however, have turned the Chelsea fans around with his performances and the title. He now believes an FA Cup would be the icing on the cake.
“It’s something for the fans.” he said. “For us it’s normal because we want all the trophies. But we won the league and if we can do the double it will be good for us and for the supporters.”