Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has hinted that he could be using Eden Hazard as a striker if needed after the Blues’ 2-1 loss to Crystal Palace last Saturday.
The Italian tactician was forced to make a big decision with his team and place unproven starter Michy Batshuayi upfront due to Alvaro Morata’s hamstring issue. Batshuayi did very little in the game and was subbed off early on the second half.
Conte reminds that he used Hazard as a centre forward last season when Diego Costa was absent, with Pedro and Willian alongside him in the three-pointed attacking line. He believes that it’s still an option that could be exploited should Morata struggle to stay fit throughout the campaign.
Don’t forget, as a striker I can also utilise Eden Hazard. Last season we played two games with Hazard as the number nine, with Willian and Pedro, and if I see a situation we are ready to do that again.
– Antonio Conte
Batshuayi has only made three Premier League starts for Chelsea since his arrival from Marseille in the summer of 2016, but has scored plenty of important goals for the team – like last season’s title winning goal and the winner against Atletico Madrid three weeks back.