Maurizio Sarri has said that Eden Hazard is ‘not a leader’ and ‘needs to do more’ in what has been another intriguing press conference.
Sarri let rip on Saturday evening following their 2-0 defeat to Arsenal, saying that the Chelsea players are difficult to motivate.
The Blues have an opportunity to quickly respond, hosting Tottenham at Stamford Bridge in the second leg in the Carabao Cup semi-finals on Thursday evening, and speaking to the media, Sarri said that the leaders within the squad need to step up, but denied that Hazard was one of those leaders:
“He is more an individual player than a leader,” Sarri said in his pre-match press conference.
“He is very important, he is a great player, he can always win the match, sometimes in a minute, at the moment he is not a leader. He is a great player.”
Earlier this week, Hazard admitted that he has frustrated virtually every Chelsea manager that he has worked with, and when Sarri was asked if was also frustrated with his start player, Sarri laughed, before admitting that he ‘sometimes’ was, adding that the Belgian ‘needs to do more’.
“Sometimes, I prefer him when he speaks with his feet. I think he said coaches tell him he needs to do more, I think he has to do more. The potential is higher than the performance. He has to do more,” Sarri added.
“He is a wonderful player, but an individual player. He is instinctive, for him it is difficult to play only in one position. He likes to go with the ball, he wants it at the feet.
“For him I think it is very difficult to play as a striker and a winger. He needs to play everywhere.”
Hazard has long been linked with a move to Real Madrid, although hasn’t ruled out staying at Chelsea, but Sarri said he doesn’t know anything about the number 10’s future.
“No, I know very well that he is discussing with the club. I don’t know anything else at the moment. He has not decided yet if he wants to stay here or have a new experience. I don’t know exactly the situation, but I think Eden doesn’t know the final choice.”