Eden Hazard expects to enjoy playing with greater freedom and less pressure on his shoulders this season as English Premier League leaders Chelsea show their strength in depth by challenging for four trophies, including the Uefa Champions League.
Hazard, who flickered without dazzling for Belgium at the World Cup finals, has been impressed by how quickly Chelsea’s new arrivals have settled in at Stamford Bridge and praised the Spain duo of striker Diego Costa and midfielder Cesc Fabregas for their immediate impact.
"Last season, I scored a lot of goals and maybe this season I can make a lot more passes forward because Costa is one of the best and he can score," Hazard said. "It's my job to score, but it's also my job to make assists."
Hazard was Chelsea’s leading scorer with 14 Premier League goals, including four penalties, last season, but Costa’s arrival – with four goals in his first three outings – has changed the dynamic in Chelsea’s attacking play, easing the pressure on the Belgian.
“The new players have settled in very good. I enjoy playing with the best players in the squad and I’m very happy,” he said on Chelsea TV. “We have a very competitive team and we want more than last season.
"Last season we played good but we didn't win any trophies, so we want more. We can win four trophies, and I hope we can compete in the two cups, the Premier League and Champions League for a long time throughout the year.
"Costa can score every game and Cesc is one of the best midfielders in the world. Cesc can score as well and make good assists."
Hazard also revealed that he has a close relationship with Spanish left-back Cesar Azpilicueta, who has kept new signing Brazilian Filipe Luis out of the team.
“I have ‘Azpi’ behind me and he helps me when I attack or have to defend,” he said. “Off the pitch, we are very close friends because he can speak French and understands everything.
“It is important for me to play with him because I know how he plays. I think he can reach the level of being one of the best right or left backs in the world.”
Table-topping Chelsea, who impressed with a 6-3 win at Everton in their last outing, meet second-placed Swansea City at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, with both Hazard and Costa expected to recover from slight injuries and be fit to play.
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