Former Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien hopes Eden Hazard stays at the club and continues his impressive form.
Hazard was tipped to leave Stamford Bridge during the transfer window, with Real Madrid said to be interested, after admitting in July he was tempted to try “something different”.
However, the Belgium star later said he was happy to stay and has been exceptional under Maurizio Sarri this season, scoring seven goals in eight Premier League appearances and netting a stunning Carabao Cup winner against Liverpool.
Hazard will have just one year left on his contract when the post-season transfer window opens in 2019, but Essien, who won eight major trophies with the Blues, is hopeful over his future.
“First of all, it’s still good to have him with us, he’s such a good footballer,” he told Omnisport. “He had a very fantastic World Cup and he came back and he’s been doing very well at the moment.
“Hopefully, he will carry the team until the end [of the season] and we will see. When you’re playing well, the big clubs will start coming. As I know, he’s happy at Chelsea so, hopefully, he can stay as long as he can.”
Chelsea’s 3-0 win over Southampton on Sunday moved them on to 20 points from their first eight games, with only Manchester City ahead of them in the table on goal difference.
Essien, twice a Premier League champion with the London club, is confident they can sustain a title challenge this term.
“It’s been good. They have had a very good start,” said the 35-year-old.
“They are playing very good football at the moment, winning games. Fingers crossed that will continue to the end.
“They can win it. The Premier League is there to be won, so fingers crossed.”