USA international Christian Pulisic has
said that he is focusing on himself as he embarks on a fresh challenge with
Chelsea next season. The young attacker joined the Blues on a permanent basis
from Borussia Dortmund last winter and he was therefore loaned out to the
Bundesliga side for the remainder of the season.
During this period, there has been increasing speculation regarding the future of Eden Hazard, who has been the Blues’ star performer but Pulisic has indicated that he is not looking to replicate the Belgium international at the Bridge, he said: “Eden’s a fantastic player, we all know that. If I can get anywhere close to him, I’ll be more than happy. But I’m coming in to be my own player. I expect a lot from myself, for me that’s enough. Obviously there’s pressure from outside – that’s to be expected. I want to be successful, be part of this team and make an impact. They are my goals and to become the best player I can be.”
Hazard has just 13 months remaining on his
current contract with the Blues and reports indicate that he has a good chance
of joining Real Madrid this summer irrespective of the club’s ongoing transfer
ban. As such, Pulisic could be the player to take up the mantle from the
Belgian footballer and it remains to be seen whether he can make an instant
impression with the Blues.
Pulisic is currently in London to finalise the
necessary introductory formalities with the Blues and he is thereafter expected
to join the United States team for the Gold Cup. Chelsea, on the other hand,
can end the season on a high, should they overcome Arsenal to the Europa League
crown. The west London side have already sealed Champions League football for
next season after securing the third spot in the Premier League.
Belgium international Eden Hazard has indicated that he wants the clarity over the situation at Chelsea before deciding on whether to commit his future to the club. The attacker was the standout performer for the Blues last season with 17 goals and seven assists and he scored the match-winning penalty in the FA Cup final win over Manchester United.
Despite this, the Blues experienced an average season by their standards as they could only manage a fifth place finish in the Premier League and Hazard is now on finding out how the club may improve next term. Obviously, there is plenty of talk of Antonio Conte being replaced and the attacker is now eager to witness fresh recruits who can transform the club next season.
In June of 2014, Thibaut Courtois made his return to Chelsea as the Belgian goal-keeper ended his loan deal with Athletic Madrid and sparked a shockwave in Stamford Bridge and the Premier League as the 22 year old player is arguably one of the best players of the top tier league with sublime performances in every match he plays in.
The remarkable season that Courtois is going through is great news for Chelsea as the club has only conceded 26 goals in 30 matches but at the same time this also brings negative consequences for other players who have had to be sidelined for the majority of the season and Petr Cech is the player who has had his spot snatched away from him.
Rumors are now claiming that Chelsea are prepared to sell Petr Cech and have placed a price tag of €10 million for the experienced shot-stopper who is being linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge.
Petr Cech has a contract with Chelsea which extends until the end of the 2015-16 season but if the contract could be terminated depending on the situation of the player and the club. If Mourinho wants to sell Cech, then he could be offloaded and it does seem like Cech will be exiting Stamford in the summer transfer window as the player has already stated on a number of occasions that he wants to join a club where he can have a secured regular starting spot. Continue reading
Eden Hazard has said that he will draw on his previous experiences playing against Paris Saint Germain when Chelsea face the French champions in the last eight of this season’s Champions League.
The Belgium international came up against PSG a number of times during his five years in Ligue 1 with Lille, most notably in the 2011 Coupe de France final, and in a 2-2 draw at the Parc de Princes, which clinched the championship for Rudi Garcia’s side.
The Blues head to the French capital for the first leg of their Champions League quarter final tie next Wednesday, before the return leg at Stamford Bridge the following Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Express understand that PSG midfielder Yohan Cabaye has urged Hazard to join him in Laurent Blanc’s side.
The pair played together at Lille, and the former Newcastle United man is keen on a reunion with the Belgium international next season.
Elsewhere, Arsenal dropped more points in their pursuit of the Premier League title after only managing to draw 2-2 with Swansea City at the Emirates Stadium yesterday evening, while Manchester City moved to within three points of the Blues after beating champions Manchester United 3-0 at Old Trafford.
Chelsea sent out a clear message of intent to their title rivals by thumping Arsenal 6-0 at Stamford Bridge Saturday lunchtime.
Samuel Eto’o put the hosts in front on five minutes, and their advantage was doubled just two minutes later through Andre Schurlle – both goals coming from clinical counter-attacking from Jose Mourinho’s side.
Then, on seventeen minutes, the Blues were awarded a penalty after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain tipped an Eden Hazard shot away with his fingertips.
The incident led to a sending off, it was defender Kieran Gibbs who was dismissed after referee Andre Marriner appeared to have mistaken him as the culprit.
Hazard duly converted the penalty, before Oscar made it 4-0 three minutes before the break.
The Brazil international then scored his second and his sides fifth on sixty-six minutes before substitute Mohamed Salah completed the Gunners’ misery with his first goal for the club five minutes later.
The result sees Chelsea remain four points of clear of second place Liverpool, who beat Cardiff City 6-3 later in the day.
The Merseyside club will have the chance to reduce that gap when they host Sunderland on Wednesday evening, while Chelsea will now turn their attention to Saturday’s trip to Crystal Palace before they host Paris Saint Germain, who they were drawn against in the quarter finals of the Champions League.
Chelsea extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to seven points by beating Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon.
After a goalless first half Samuel Eto’o, who was only on the field as Fernando Torres withdrew after picking up an injury in the pre-match warm up, put the hosts in front eleven minutes after the break.
Eden Hazard fired in his fifteenth goal of the season from the penalty spot shortly after to double the Blues’ advantage before a late brace from substitute Demba Ba put the result beyond doubt.
Jose Mourinho’s men are now seven points clear of Liverpool and Arsenal in second and third place respectively, though both have a game in hand, while fourth place Manchester City are nine points off the top with a three game advantage on the leaders.
The Blues’ boss has insisted that Manuel Pellegrini’s men are still favourites to reclaim the Premier League from their neighbours, saying that he would ‘prefer to be in City’s position’.
The club will now turn their attention to next weekend’s visit of Aston Villa, before facing Galatasaray at Stamford Bridge in the second leg of their Champions League last sixteen tie.
With no other sides in the top four playing in the Premier League this weekend, Chelsea will be looking to increase their lead at the top as they take on fifth place Tottenham Hotspur.
The Blues, who will increase their unbeaten home league run under Jose Mourinho to seventy-five games if they avoid defeat, should have top scorer Eden Hazard available after he declared himself fit despite suffering an ankle injury in Belgium’s 2-2 draw with Ivory Coast.
Midfielder Marco van Ginkel, who is still some weeks away from returning to action, is Jose Mourinho’s only injury concern.
Chelsea can move seven points clear of both Liverpool and Arsenal, and nine clear of Manchester City if they take all three points though the latter will have three games in hand.
Meanwhile, Jose Mourinho has hinted that he may make a move for Mario Balotelli at the end of the season, according to the Metro.
The AC Milan striker, who played under the Blues boss at Inter where together they won three league titles, the Coppa Italia and the Champions League, is reportedly unhappy with life in Italy leading to speculation that he could be set for a return to the Premier League.
Chelsea return to Premier League action tomorrow afternoon with the short trip to bottom of the table Fulham.
Eden Hazard and Jon Obi Mikel should feature, though neither completed ninety minutes against Galatasaray midweek after shaking off their respective knocks, while David Luiz will be assessed ahead of the game.
Goals from Oscar and Mikel secured victory for the Blues when the sides met at Stamford Bridge back in September, and another three points for Jose Mourinho’s men will ensure that they stay in first place.
However, if they fail to win Arsenal will be able to leapfrog them into pole position with victory at Stoke City, while third place Manchester City are playing in the Capital One Cup final at Wembley on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Ashley Cole has been named in Roy Hodgon’s England squad for next Wednesday’s friendly international against Denmark at Wembley.
The 33 year old will have the chance to win his 107th cap, though he will be up against fellow left-backs Leighton Baines and reported Chelsea target Luke Shaw – the latter of which the only as yet uncapped player in the thirty-man party.
Fellow Blues defender Gary Cahill has also been included, as has midfielder Frank Lampard.
Chelsea missed the chance to move four points clear at the top of the Premier League after being held to a 1-1 draw by relegation threatened West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns yesterday evening.
Branislav Ivanovic put the Blues in front on the stroke of half time, only for Baggies substitute Victor Anichebe to equalise three minutes from time to give Pepe Mel’s side a share of the spoils with their only attempt on target in the entire game.
Both Arsenal and Manchester City now have the opportunity to leapfrog Jose Mourinho’s men, should they win their matches against Manchester United and Sunderland respectively.
Meanwhile, Chelsea will now turn their attention their trip to Manchester City in the fifth round of the FA Cup in four days’ time, while their next league game is against Everton at Stamford Bridge the following Saturday.
Elsewhere, Eden Hazard has dismissed speculation linking him with a move to French champions Paris Saint Germain, according to Sky Sports.
The Belgium international midfielder, who scored his first hat-trick for the Blues in Saturday’s 3-0 win over Newcastle United, is a reported target for the mega-spending Ligue 1 side though he has expressed his desire to achieve success in West London.
Chelsea will be looking to strengthen their position as Premier League leaders as they travel to West Bromwich Albion this evening.
Club captain John Terry will miss the game with the minor knock that kept him out of Saturday’s win over Newcastle United, though Fernando Torres could return after missing the last three weeks with a knee problem.
Victory for Chelsea will see them open a four point lead at the top of the table, with second place Arsenal hosting reigning champions Manchester United tomorrow evening, while Manchester City, who currently occupy third spot, host Sunderland.
The Baggies were minutes away from inflicting what would have been Jose Mourniho’s first ever league loss at Stamford Bridge when the sides met back in November, though Eden Hazard netted a late penalty to give the Blues a share of the spoils.
Meanwhile, Samuel Eto’o has heaped praise on the Blues’ top scorer following his match winning performance against Newcastle United at the weekend.
Hazard, who is in his second season in West London, took his season tally to thirteen with all three goals against Alan Pardew’s men, and Eto’o is confident the 23 year old can continue his fine form for the remainder of the clubs title challenge.