Eden Hazard “disrespected the false nine role” during Chelsea’s victory over Newcastle, says Tony Cascarino, with the Belgian more concerned with a “Harlem Globetrotters approach” than being productive.
With the Blues struggling for attacking spark this season, Maurizio Sarri has been forced to get creative with some of his team selections.
That has meant moving Hazard from a wide playmaking post into a more central attacking role, with his creative qualities making him a useful fit for a roaming striker position.
Hazard has impressed on the whole when asked to lead the line, but a former Chelsea frontman believes his showing in a 2-1 win over the Magpies – which included another assist – saw the 28-year-old trying to be overly flamboyant.
Cascarino said in The Times: “I went to Chelsea on Saturday and Eden Hazard disrespected the false nine role.
“He was flicking everything that came his way with no regard for team play.
“He’s normally the one running on to the flicks but when you are asked to do a job for the team, do it properly.
“He’s a wonderful player but I wasn’t impressed, it was like a Harlem Globetrotters approach.”
Hazard’s positional switch has been a case of needs must for Chelsea at times, with Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud failing to convince in a more conventional striking berth.
Cascarino believes Sarri needs to address those issues with another recruitment window open, with another proven performer required.
He added: “There’s no way it’s [Hazard as a false nine] a long-term solution for Maurizio Sarri.
“They need to get a central striker in quickly.”
Goal has revealed that Chelsea hold an interest in Gonzalo Higuain, but doing a deal with Juventus for a man currently on loan at AC Milan will not be easy.
Moving Morata out of Stamford Bridge is also proving problematic, with Sevilla having ruled themselves out of the running while Atletico Madrid wait on developments in west London before making any approach.