It’s something that a few observers have floated as a sort of explanation why Eden Hazard has looked somewhat off the pace the last couple weeks, and now here’s a report form Simon Johnson of the Evening Standard claiming the same: Eden Hazard has been carrying a minor injury for the last three weeks, ever since the 3-0 win over Leicester City in mid-January.
Just like David Luiz and his slightly damaged knee (thanks, Sergio Agüero!), which he re-injured in Tuesday’s game a few minutes after scoring his goal, Eden Hazard has been playing through the pain of whatever the injury may be — the report does not specify, but hints at a possible hamstring strain.
So that could explain his recent dip in form, but does the raise the question of why play him if the injury is bothering him enough to affect his performances? Especially when the in-form Pedro is available and scoring almost at will these days. Player ratings aren’t definitive indicators of player performances, but it’s perhaps telling that Hazard has been the lowest rated starter in both of Chelsea’s two Premier League matches since the Leicester game.
Alternatively, Hazard’s performance levels have dipped because that’s just the way he is and the injury is truly minor enough to be little more than a curiosity. The injury has not kept him out of training, for example, and he was out there with the rest of the squad on Wednesday. And Eden did have his moments against Liverpool, winning several important free kicks, if nothing else, though he did not live up to his usual high standards overall.