Chelsea star Eden Hazard has come under a lot of criticism for his poor performances this season, but his father Thierry believes that the Belgium international is being forced to play despite carrying an injury.
Hazard was one of the most influential players for Chelsea last season, winning the PFA Player of the Year Award in 2015. However, he is yet to score a goal this season in the Premier League — suffering an astonishing drop in form following a hugely successful campaign last season.
“Eden’s lack of form is due to an injury, an inflammation in the hip, that he’s been carrying now for three or four months,” Thierry Hazard said to Belgian newspaper Le Soir. “It’s not a bad injury, but when the pain arrives, it feels like a stabbing. It feels like a knife is stabbing [his hip].
“Instead of giving Eden time to overcome the injury and have a proper rest, they push him to play because they have some important games. He has no choice.”
When asked about these comments in his pre-match press conference, Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink confirmed the fact that the Belgian has been carrying the injury this season. However, the Dutchman insisted that the Chelsea medical staff is doing what is best for the 25-year-old.
“I have my concerns about him as well – whether he should play, when he’s not top, top fit, an hour at full intensity or another part of the game. We’re trying to help him,” said Hiddink.
Hazard suffering since the first match of the season?
Hazard’s injury concerns can be dated back to Chelsea’s first match of the season against Swansea, when the infamous tussle between former manager Jose Mourinho and ex-team doctor Eva Carneiro took place. However, all this had happened after Carneiro had rushed on to the aid of Hazard, during the injury time with Chelsea trailing against their opponents.
Thereafter, there have been a few instances when Hazard had to be taken off due to different injuries that he has suffered throughout this season. One of the most notable occasions when he asked to be taken off was in the 2-1 loss at Leicester, which was also Mourinho’s last match as a Chelsea manager.
Now that Chelsea have been knocked out of the Champions League, and do not have much to play for in the Premier League, it would be interesting to see whether the club’s management decides to give the Belgian some rest. After all, his season does not end with the Premier League as he will have to travel to France for the Euro 2016 with the Belgian national squad (if he is fit).