Eden Hazard will have to step up defensively if he doesn't want Jose Mourinho to sell him.
As PSG circle around Eden Hazard like a shark waiting for some prey to show a weakness, Jose Mourinho is likely to have told the Belgian exactly what he needs to do if he wants to stay a Chelsea player for the 2014/2015 campaign.
Hazard was one of the Blues’ best attacking players from midfield last season, voted as their Player of the Year and picking up the PFA Young Player of the Year Award.
However, where Mourinho seemingly wants the Belgian to get better is in a defensive sense; tracking back, making tackles and protecting the left-back down one side of Chelsea’s team.
With Ashley Cole leaving the club, there is going to be a little extra pressure on Hazard next season to protect any new left sided defended the club goes out and buys this summer.
|Club||Pos||Total Tackle||Duel Won||Aerial Won||Interception Won||Apps||Mins|
|John Obi Mikel||Chelsea||MF||30||66||18||24||24||1,064|
Hazard won more duels than any other Chelsea player last season, which shows that his core strength under Jose Mourinho has improved.
That’s useful for any attacking player, but it also suggests that the defensive part of his game should have improved far more than it has done.
Hazard is way down the pecking order when it comes to the number of tackles he’s making, which suggests he’s not getting back into defensive positions and looking to take the pressure off of his defence.
There are also players ahead of him in terms of aerial duels and the number of interceptions being made, which are both key elements for any player looking to provide extra defensive cover.
The aerial duels number shouldn’t be a major surprise considering he’s a smaller player and confined to wider areas but the number of interceptions he’s making should arguably be higher.
He’s an extremely talented player and has a good ability to predict play, get into good positions and read the outcome of opposition attacks, which should allow him to get into good positions to make interceptions.
Juan Mata is an example of a perfectly competent attacking player where Mourinho pulled the trigger because of his work rate and defensive cover in relation to the team.
While Chelsea are unlikely to axe Hazard this summer, Mourinho may grow more receptive to the idea of Hazard doesn’t improve in key defensive areas next season.