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The midfielder lauded the Belgian star's past contribution to the club's cause, citing how difficult it will be for anyone to come close to repeating such heights

Lille captain Rio Mavuba has lamented the loss of former talisman Eden Hazard to Chelsea, although he remains confident the club will pull together to ensure he is not missed.

The 21-year-old Belgium attacker departed Rudi Garcia's outfit earlier this summer in a massive €40.5 million move to the Champions League winners, and the former Villarreal man was quick to pay tribute to his old team-mate.

"Nobody can replace Hazard," Mavuba told L'Equipe. "We have lost a big player."

"That said, the force at Lille has always been a collective one, and since the transfer made both the club and Hazard a little more money, there was no choice.

"Salomon Kalou is a different type of player, but he will be an asset in helping us meet our objectives."

Hazard scored 20 goals in 38 Ligue 1 appearances last season, firing the Metropole side to third and subsequent Champions League play-off qualification.

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