New Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has got the 2014-15 Premier League champions firing again in his short time in English football, with the Blues winning all three of their opening fixtures this season.
Although new faces have added positivity to the West London club’s ranks, it has been the return to form of some of the existing players that has driven positive results.
Arguably Chelsea’s most technically gifted player, Eden Hazard, has looked like he is back to his devastating best and seems like a man with a point to prove in 2016-17.
Eden Hazard: Antonio Conte knows how to treat Chelsea players after ‘ugly’ season under Jose Mourinho https://t.co/4j8XgTZbEK
— DanaBlue (@cfcdk) September 8, 2016
However, a potential switch in Conte’s tactics could nullify the Belgium international and have him fighting for a place in the starting XI.
The deadline day signings of David Luiz and Marcos Alonso suggest that the Italian trainer could well be eyeing up a potential change in formation to 3-5-2.
This is a formation that Conte has used with success for both Juventus and Italy, with the personnel he has at Stamford Bridge fitting in with this system.
Eden Hazard: "We give everything for Antonio Conte. I’m still the same player. He is giving us confidence after a poor season.“ [AS]
— Chelsea HQ (@Chelsea_HQ) September 7, 2016
The only issue would be that a 3-5-2 set-up would make Hazard’s role on the left wing defunct, with the former Lille schemer potentially forced to play in a central role behind two strikers.
With Willian, Oscar and Cesc Fabregas all seemingly competing for this same position in a 3-5-2 formation, there would be no guaranteed that Hazard would always get the nod to play.
While moving to 3-5-2 may suit Chelsea’s needs in the long run, the Belgian winger could well be a high-profile casualty of the change.