Hazard ready to hit the heights

Eden Hazard Chelsea

Eden Hazard is convinced that he will be back to his best this season after admitting that his performances for Chelsea last term had been sub-standard.

The Belgium international was superb as the Blues won the 2014/15 Premi League title and he was handed the Professional Footballers’ Association and Football Writers’ Association Player of the Year awards as a result of his displays.

However, he struggled for much of last season as Chelsea, under Jose Mourinho and then Guus Hiddink, could only finish tenth in the Premier League table. He found the net just six times last term compared to a tally of 19 in 2014/15.

Hazard has been linked with transfers to Real Madrid and Paris St-Germain this summer, but insists he will never leave Stamford Bridge on a low.

The 25-year-old revealed: “I said – after the season like the last one – I wanted to stay at Chelsea because I didn’t want to finish like this.

“When I was in France, I finished my last game (at Lille) with a hat-trick and it was a good time to leave. And if I must leave (Chelsea) one day, I hope I can finish good here and be a champion again.

“I played a very bad season and it is always important (to recover). Why was it bad? I think it was because I was tired. But this season I am ready.”

Meanwhile, midfielder Cesc Fabregas was shown a straight red card after fouling Ragnar Klavan as Chelsea beat Liverpool 1-0 in a pre-season friendly at Pasadena’s Rose Bowl.

Chelsea are 11/2 to win the Premier League title in 2016/17 while they are 7/4 to be the top London team. Chelsea are 7/1 to beat West Ham United 2-0 in their first match of the campaign on 15th August.