HAZARD LIGHTS UP IN NEW MAGAZINE
New boy Eden Hazard has outlined his goals in the August edition of Chelsea magazine, out now.
The 21-year-old arrived from Lille in June and immediately sat down at Stamford Bridge with the club's official publication to discuss the move.
'I'd just like to say how happy I am to be here,' he explains. 'I felt I needed to play at one of the very top clubs and Chelsea is undoubtedly one of those. The team has won a lot of trophies, it has fantastic support and I'm really pleased to be here. Now I can't wait to get the season started.
'I only managed to look around for a short while, but, from what I've seen, it looks like a wonderful stadium. I'm sure it will have a brilliant atmosphere and be somewhere we can win lots of matches.
'I am completely aware that I am going to have to ﬁght for my place; I can't take anything for granted. However, ultimately, I think this is a club where I can have a lot of success and win trophies.'
It is a move that brings with it added pressure and attention, and with some of Europe's top clubs after his signature it was a transfer not taken lightly.
Of course Chelsea's band of other young Belgians, Romelu Lukaku, Thibaut Courtois and Kevin De Bruyne were an attraction, but Hazard also spoke with temporary Lille team-mate Joe Cole towards the end of last season.
'Recently, I have chatted with Romelu and he had nothing but good things to say about the club,' he reveals. 'He said it's a great club with a really good atmosphere in the changing room. To a certain extent, having people I knew here helped sway me with my choice, because it certainly helps when you come to a new club to have players who you already know.
'Joe more or less told me the same things as Romelu. He told me what a great club it is and he was very keen on me coming here. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I only came here because Joe told me I should, but it was good to hear what he had to say.
'I'm really pleased to be here, I think he will be as well. I met him for the ﬁrst time last season, he is a great guy and I'm sure we will talk about it the next time we meet!'
There are also similarities between how Hazard and Cole like to conduct themselves on the pitch.
'It's fair to say that I do prefer to play in the middle, perhaps just behind the front man,' he reveals. 'I'm the kind of player who likes to get on the ball, that's my big thing.
'Although I did score a lot of goals last year, I don't see myself as an out-and-out goalscorer, more somebody who plays other people in with the ﬁnal pass. I'm not particularly big, but I'm pretty solidly built, so I'm able to stand up to tackles.'
The big challenge for Hazard will be to reproduce in England the form of his final year in France. There are high hopes, and everyone here is looking forward to seeing him in action as the players report for pre-season.
In this month's 'Did You Know' feature, Oriol Romeu discusses the moments that have shaped his career so far, recalling an international Under 19 defeat to France as a learning curve. 'It was really hard to get over that situation, but I think that moment has made me stronger for the next ﬁnals and my next experiences,' he explains. 'Sometimes when you lose you feel really bad, but after time you realise that you have learned from the situation and you can say that it was good for you.'
Author Roddy Doyle is a committed Blue and has been for 45 years since watching the 1967 FA Cup Final. In this month's Chelsea he tells us of his experience watching our most recent match, the Champions League Final in Munich, revealing he was in bed in a hotel room in Australia and had to watch with the sound down.
DOYLE'S CHELSEA STORY
The magazine also has a preview of this summer's tour of the United States, Graeme Le Saux looks through his Chelsea photo album while another former left-back, Danny Granville, is the subject of 'The Boys Are Back In Town' feature.
The latest edition of Chelsea is on sale now and available from all good newsagents and the Megastore, priced at £3.25.