Hazard: Chelsea don't need to buy a striker


Antonio Conte is happy with Michy Batshuayi's contribution after his improved display against Brighton & Hove Albion but says that the striker could be distracted by transfer speculation.

Stoke City's Peter Crouch, West Ham's Andy Carroll and Burnley's Ashley Barnes are among the players to be linked with a move to Stamford Bridge, although reports on Sunday suggest a deal for Roma's Edin Dzeko could be finalised in the coming days.

At no point was Chelsea's rhythm more eloquently displayed than Willian's sixth minute strike that involved the influential trio sharing six passes, including two neat backheels. What he had seen, though, was a Chelsea side with no need for a new centre forward.

It felt as if Eden Hazard was on a mission to protect his reputation.

"The combination between Michy, Willian and me, and the midfield, was brilliant so we need to do more like this week after week. But I think that every single player that decides to come to Chelsea, they must be prepared to have this type of challenge".

"To repeat, a number nine is an important player - I want him to be a point of reference to our team". I think if you are in a team like Chelsea and before you arrive in this type of team you know you have to challenge and this is a big challenge.

It now remains to be seen how Antonio Conte reacts to Hazard's comments as he does not take well to players going directly against his philosophy.

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"It's simple. If you want to play with long balls you need a target man, if you want to keep the ball on the floor you need a small guy".

"When I'm on the pitch I try to give my best, when I'm not on the pitch on the bench I want the team to do the best".

"I'm very happy to work with this group of players because they show me in every moment a great commitment, they show me they want to do what they want in the game". When you score early it's easier because you have the confidence straight from the start of the game.

"But then after the first-half we had a problem". He did what I asked him to do. I've got two years contract left and I'm happy here. "But I'm happy here". "At the end of the game we won by 4-0, that's good".

He lasted the full 90 minutes against the Seagulls."Yeah I was not sure, but now I'm sure!"

'We want to do more like this. "He's a very important player for us and he done very well".

'You know they have players in Pedro, Hazard and Willian that, if they are not playing a classic No 9, can do wonderful jobs and be as effective because it's a different type of game and in some ways those type of players are more hard to mark than your classic No 9s'.