Sports News of Thursday, 7 December 2017
Michael Essien has called on Chelsea to secure Eden Hazard on a new long-term deal as contract talks continue between the club and the player.
Hazard has been in a sensational form this season, having racked up an impressive eight goals and six assists despite missing the start of the season with a broken ankle.
Essien is still playing football in Indonesia with Persib, but he has recently been back training at Cobham Training Centre as his season has ended.
The 35-year-old thinks that the lure of his other former club Real Madrid will be tempting but he hopes that Hazard will choose to stay at Stamford Bridge.
“He could go to Real Madrid to win the Balon d’Or easier,” Essien said with a laugh as he spoke with Goal. “When we talk about Eden, he is such a good player. He’s very quick, very good on the ball. He’s very strong, he may be little but he is strong, trust me! It is hard to get the ball off him.
“He’s such a good player and we’re happy to have him at Chelsea but I’d understand why Madrid would be looking at him. He is proving it week-in, week-out. At the moment he is the most important player [at Chelsea]. When you have Hazard, he can always do something.
“He can always create something to do something with the ball. He makes goals for himself or others. He has that magic touch. I think that Chelsea need to renew his contract. You don’t want your best players to leave and we need him at the club.
“I think he is only motivated about playing football, he just enjoys playing football. It would take a lot of money to replace him [at Chelsea] but I hope that they can tie him down for a long time.”
Essien, who was speaking at an event with William Hill Plus, made over 250 appearances for Chelsea winning two league titles, five domestic cups and the Champions League.