Belgium international Eden Hazard was undoubtedly Chelsea's star man last season and one of the shining talents in the Premier League. He was awarded the PFA Young Player of the Year award, and consistently impressed spectators with game-winning displays filled with charisma, style and a great talent for scoring important goals.
He was lauded in the run-up to the World Cup, with many pinning any title hopes for Belgium on his shoulders, but he failed to excite. While he was not as bad as many made out - assisting twice in five games - he was nowhere near his personal best, disappointing all who wished to see him excel on the world stage.
Despite interest from Paris Saint-Germain, Hazard committed his future to Chelsea and was deservedly awarded the number 10 shirt - an honour previously bestowed upon star players such as Juan Mata, Mark Hughes and Joe Cole.
Upon his arrival to Chelsea's pre-season training, an air of excitement was circling, with his return seen as central to any success the Blues may achieve this season, and in his half-hour cameo in the 3-0 defeat to Werder Bremen, Hazard once again displayed why he is so important to Jose Mourinho's side.
A remarkably flat performance by the Blues saw little in the way of attacking threat until the arrival of Hazard. Despite Diego Costa, Fernando Torres, Mohammed Salah and Cesc Fabregas impressing against weaker opposition, they looked off the pace against the German club, and created few goal scoring chances.
Club legend Didier Drogba made his second debut for the London outfit as a half-time substitute, but it wasn't until Hazard arrived that a goal looked like coming.
He catalysed the attacking play, injecting pace, directness and creativity in the final third, while also tracking back as if boundless with energy. The Belgian created arguably Chelsea's best chance of the game, with Fabregas chipping over the bar following an effervescent run from the 23-year old attacker.
However, while Hazard proved that he is raring to go with the season just weeks away, his arrival once again displayed the problem with Chelsea - that they depend too much upon the Belgian.
When statistically weaker teams play Chelsea, they generally sit deep to limit the attacking threat posed by the Blues. This is displayed by roughly 14 of the 19 opposition teams in the Premier League, and it causes trouble in the Chelsea ranks, with goals hard to come by.
The lack of goals against the bottom half of the table was arguably the biggest reason why Chelsea failed to win the Premier League, and, despite the arrival of Costa and Fabregas, it appears as if not much has changed heading into the 2014/15 season.
Hazard proved himself to be one of few players able to break down a deep defence, and it was his absence that cost Chelsea numerous victories. With Bremen lining up in a similar style, with the defence held deep to prevent the counter-attack - a prominent feature of Chelsea's play - the Blues looked as if they had run out of attacking ideas early in the game.
Despite Hazard not aiding the club in scoring when he entered the game, he still added a touch of danger that was missing prior to his substitution. It is a certainty that he will start Chelsea's opening Premier League game, but what remains to be seen is their ability to cope without their star man - something that could cost the Blues more silverware and Jose Mourinho his job.