Chelsea star Eden Hazard has regularly been one of the most fouled players in the Premier League since joining from Lille in 2012. He is currently the most fouled player this season after being fouled 59 times – 10 more than any other player.
Hazard was the most fouled player in our title winning campaigns of 2014/15 and 2016/17.
Despite being targeted by defenders, Hazard has been involved in 19 Premier League goals (scoring 10 and providing 9 assists) this season, more than anyone else in the Premier League.
Hazard admits it’s tough being targeted by other players but insists he is only targeted because he is too good.
Hazard told Chelsea’s official website: “Sometimes it’s tough, for seven years I have got kicked all the time. But now I take care of my ankles, my knees! We have one of the best medical departments in the world.
“I don’t like to say I like it, but when people kick me it gives me a feeling that I am too good or they just want to stop me and they can’t. That gives me extra power to do something magic.”
Hazard has been deployed as a false nine by Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri in recent weeks, with strikers Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud being left out in favour of the Belgian. He was first deployed as a false by Sarri in our impressive home victory over Manchester City earlier this month.
Despite excelling as a false nine, scoring three and providing three assists in his last four games, Hazard recently suggested he preferred playing as a winger to a striker because he sees himself more as a playmaker.
Hazard admits he is now more positive about playing as false nine while also revealing Sarri talked about it with him before the season started.
Hazard said: “Sarri told me before the season started that playing as a number nine could be an option.
“It is good not just to be a target man, but also as a false nine where I can move, I can drop, I can go deep, I can go on the wing.
“I like to change a lot, but we also have two great strikers. We will see. It depends on who is on the pitch.”
Meanwhile, Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has urged the Chelsea board to sort out Eden Hazard’s future once and for all.
Hazard, whose contract expires in the summer of 2020, has been continually linked with a move to Real Madrid and he revealed early this season that he was torn between signing a new Chelsea contract and moving to Real Madrid.
Asked if he will sit down with Hazard to thrash out his future, Sarri said: “I don’t know but I think it is time to decide.
“I have not the power to do this. I am the coach. I am not the president and not in charge of the market. I only speak to him about the position on the pitch. I think we have to solve the problem if we want to programme the future.”