Big season ahead for Eden Hazard, perhaps more so than any other player at Chelsea. How else will he ever join Real Madrid if he continues to play so badly?!
Jokes aside, Hazard seems motivated to right the wrongs of last season.
"I want to be the best, like I was two seasons ago. I said - after the season like this - I wanted to stay at Chelsea because I didn't want to finish like this."
"I played a very bad season. We didn't start the season well because of injuries and everything seemed to go against Chelsea. It wasn't easy and wasn't a good season. We want to forget it. We've got to show to everybody we are Chelsea, we're big players, we're a big team and we didn't finish in a good place last season. Now we want to do better and win the Premier League. We need to do this."
"When I was in France [with Lille], I finished my last game with a hat-trick and that was a good time to leave. And if I must leave one day, I hope I can finish good here and be a champion again."
If that phrasing sounds weird and oddly familiar, that's because they're almost a repeat of what he said at the start of the summer (99% staying). While I still don't think they mean that he's planning on leaving anytime soon, they could certainly be interpreted that way. (And if his motivation to do better is to eventually engineer a move to Real Madrid, well, that'll presumably have a few benefits for Chelsea as well along the way.)
For what it's worth, he seems to be saying all the right things as far as the new season and the new coach is concerned.
"It is easy to say now that I was tired. Even when I am not at the maximum level I want to play well - and last season was difficult. I was injured, not a big one, but it was not easy to play with a small injury when you play in England because the game is very difficult."
"But this season I am ready. It's been hard training under the new manager but it's good, he talks a lot to the players. It is different [to last season], we can't wait for the season to start. It's hard work but hopefully at the end of the season we can win."
-Eden Hazard; source: Telegraph
We could be seeing Hazard in action for the first time under Conte tonight against Liverpool. Hopefully he's ready to build on the good performances from the end of last season at the European Championships.