Hazard ready to fight for Chelsea starting place

After months of speculation over his future was ended in June, the 21-year-old Belgium star is now settling in at his new club and is ready to push for silverware

New Chelsea signing Eden Hazard says he has his work cut out gaining a place in the starting line-up at Stamford Bridge, despite his high price tag.

The Belgium international completed a £32 million move from Lille in June after prolonged speculation over who he would decide to sign for, with both Manchester United and Manchester City also targeting the young playmaker.

But it was Roberto Di Matteo who captured the 21-year-old’s signature, and Hazard admits he will have to work hard to earn a starting berth and help his new club win further silverware.

Di Matteo hints at more signings

“I am completely aware that I am going to have to fight for my place, I can't take anything for granted,” he told the club’s official club magazine.

“However, ultimately, I think this is a club where I can have a lot of success and win trophies.”

It looked likely for a long time that the attacker was edging towards a move to one of the Manchester clubs, but Chelsea’s victory over Bayern Munich to pick up their first Champions League trophy proved decisive for Hazard, with the playmaker initially revealing his decision on Twitter.

“I was fortunate enough to get a taste of the Champions League last year, although things didn’t turn out as well as they might have done because I thought Lille could have gone further in the competition,” he added.

“But, now, I find myself here, playing for a club that has not only appeared in the Champions League every year in recent times, but is also the current holder of the trophy.”

40/1 Eden Hazard is 40/1 to be the top Premier League goalscorer in 2012-13 with bet365

Chelsea travel to Wigan in their Premier League opener on 19 August, and Hazard is hoping to experience his first taste of Premier League football, against the Latics, in a position he prefers.

“It's fair to say that I do prefer to play in the middle, perhaps just behind the front man,” he admitted.

“I’m the kind of player who likes to get on the ball, that’s my big thing.”