The January transfer window is upon us and Eden Hazard is again being tipped to make a sensational return to the Premier League with Chelsea the most likely destination.
After adding the likes of Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic, Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, and Romelu Lukaku to their squad in the last few years, it’s beyond imaginable how tough Thomas Tuchel’s job is to have to leave out some of these star players week in week out.
The rise of young players such as Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount have further added to the incredible strength in depth at Tuchel’s disposal at Stamford Bridge.
We look at just how Chelsea could line up if Eden Hazard does complete a stunning move back to Stamford Bridge.
3-4-2-1 – Hazard – Mount – Lukaku
Thomas Tuchel has been playing three at the back with three central defenders since his first game in charge of the Blues. We look at how the team would line up in Tuchel’s preferred formation with the addition of Hazard.
Hazard has predominantly been a left-winger throughout his career but has also been deployed in the number 10 role, if Hazard is to fit into Tuchel’s 3-4-2-1 formation he would most likely take one of the two places in behind the striker, meaning he will likely replace one of Mason Mount, Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic or Kai Havertz.
Given Mount’s form and Havertz’s importance to the team, it’s likely Pulisic or Ziyech would be left in the cold.
3-4-2-1 Hazard – Havertz – Lukaku
Thomas Tuchel could sacrifice Mason Mount and put in Kai Havertz alongside Hazard which gives another dimension with the left-footed Havertz able to cut inside and create chances.
Kai Havertz has been an important player since Tuchel took over and was the hero against Manchester City in last season’s Champions League final.
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3-4-2-1 No Lukaku?
Could the return of Eden Hazard completely change the way Chelsea play?
Kai Havertz is more than good enough to play upfront in this system as Tuchel has previously trusted him in that role ahead of Timo Werner. Given the trust Tuchel has in Mount and Havertz, Hazard’s return could leave Lukaku on the bench and in a serious fight for a place in Tuchel’s eleven.
Change of Formation? 5-4-1
It is rare for managers to go away from their preferred formation as that is the blueprint of their style of football, the formation is vital for the way each manager wants to play.
Tuchel has his own way of playing, would he change his formation just to accommodate Eden Hazard, here is a look at a formation change from 3 at the back to 5, with the wingbacks dropping back slightly, with 4 in midfield supporting 1 main striker.
In this formation, Hazard will operate at the left midfield, a position that can allow him to cut inside from the left and create goals or get shots away.
In all, It remains to be seen whether Hazard will return to Chelsea but one thing that is for sure is Hazard will add more quality to the already world-class Chelsea squad.