In a new series of articles, FantasySports.co.uk will analyse the likely formation and performance impact that players would have on some of the Premier League’s greatest clubs. Today, we ask the question: ‘How would Chelsea player Eden Hazard fit in at Manchester City?’
Our analysis series is to assist Fantasy Premier League managers in understanding the impact Hazard could have next season in the English top-flight.
How would Chelsea player Eden Hazard fit in at Manchester City?
For the third time in his Chelsea career, Eden Hazard scored 17 goals in a single season. Despite all the problems at Stamford Bridge under Antonio Conte, Hazard continued his fine play in 2017-18. Only one time since joining Chelsea in 2012 had Hazard scored more than 17 goals. That came in the Blues’ Premier League winning year of 2014 when he tallied 19.
Regardless of the inefficiencies Chelsea’s attack possessed in 2017-18, Hazard was the team’s one constant. Alvaro Morata blew incredibly hot to begin the season. However, as the cold winds of December hit West London, Morata failed to have the same affect on the club.
Olivier Giroud improved the team greatly, but by the New Year, Chelsea’s hopes of regaining the Premier League title were gone.
Hazard was the exception in both the Premier League and Champions League. His 12 goals and four assists in 32 Premier League matches kept Chelsea within touching distance of the final Champions League place. Of course, the Blues would capitulate on the final day of the season, losing to Newcastle 3-0. Even if Liverpool had lost their final game, Chelsea had already blown their chance.
The Belgian was most effective for Chelsea playing as a traditional No. 10. Playing behind Morata or Giroud, Hazard scored nine goals and tallied four assists in all competitions. Four times during the season, Hazard was pushed wide to the left of a central striker. There, he scored twice and tallied one assist.
But it wasn’t just in those attacking positions that Hazard excelled. At times, Conte favoured an attacking duo of Hazard and Willian. The Blues’ Champions League tie with Barcelona was an example of this pairing. Playing as a No. 9, Hazard showed his versatility scoring four goals in 10 matches. He added a further two assists.
Hazard would theoretically only make Manchester City stronger in attack. Pep Guardiola’s team would be even more dynamic with David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne and Leroy Sane in a team with Hazard. But the problem seems that there would be far too many cooks in the kitchen. How could Guardiola give these players enough time on the pitch? It seems that having Hazard in the team would limit the other players and vice versa. The result would be missed points for Fantasy Premier League managers.
Twenty times during the Premier League season, Conte played a 3-4-2-1 formation. This allowed Hazard to be more central. Only four times did Conte play with a three man attacking line.
Manchester City deployed a 4-3-3 in 34 league matches. Would Hazard be as productive out on the flank? Despite Sane’s great season, there were times when he and teammate Raheem Sterling were incredibly ineffective out wide. The club’s Champions League tie with Liverpool is an example of the duo’s most ineffective moments.
Although Hazard missed five matches in 2016-17, the forward is incredibly durable and fantasy managers can expect him in the squad every week. The problem is, Manchester City’s squad is so deep, fantasy players may not have the chance to gain points each matchday as Hazard could be on the bench.
Would Eden Hazard fit in at Manchester City and improve your fantasy football team? Have your say.