It was nine months ago, on June 7, 2019, Real Madrid announced the signing of Eden Hazard from Chelsea.
The Belgian winger was proven crucial for the west London side since his arrival in 2012. He was the fans favourite, the club’s poster boy. Yet, he chose to pursue his dream of playing at Santiago Bernabeu and left Chelsea with their hands tied by the transfer ban, unable to bring a replacement.
It was a big task for Frank Lampard who was given the Chelsea manager role after just one season in management at Derby County.
Let’s take a closer look at how Chelsea have fared without Eden Hazard so far this season.
In his last season at Chelsea, Hazard was involved in 49% (16 goals and 15 assists) of the 63 goals Chelsea scored in the Premier League.
Many feared Chelsea would lose their sparks upfront without Hazard, but Chelsea have not seen much difference goalscoring-wise, from 1.65 goals per game last season to 1.67 from 28 league games this term.
The emergence of the new number nine Tammy Abraham has been a huge help for Chelsea to ease the loss of Hazard. Tammy has scored 13 goals from 25 league appearances this season.
Not only in terms of goals, Chelsea have also had a slight increase in key passes compared to last season.
Chelsea made 16 key passes per game last season (second-best in the league after Manchester City) and has made 16.6 per game this season (also second-best in the league).
Last season Chelsea were reliant on Hazard (2.6 key passes per game) and Willian (2.5). But under Lampard, the playmaking task has been spread to more players. Thirteen players including Cesar Azpilicueta, Mason Mount, and Ross Barkley have registered an average of more than one key passes per game (only five last season).
Hazard is renowned for his trickery and dribbling on the pitch. His ability to get past defenders helped Chelsea break down defences.
Since Hazard’s departure, Christian Pulisic has taken the mantle. The American attempted 5.8 dribbles game, with a 60% success rate.
Mateo Kovacic also stepped up his dribbling game. He has had an increase from just 1.7 attempted dribbles per game last season to 3.2 per game this season.
It would have been interesting to see Hazard play alongside the likes of Tammy and Mount under Lampard. However, as these statistics show, Lampard has done a fairly good job given the situation of the transfer ban.