Thorgan Hazard: Christensen and Musonda can make it at Chelsea
The former Blues player has moved to the Bundesliga and found success, but he thinks that two of his close colleagues can make it in west London
Former Chelsea player Thorgan Hazard is backing young Blues stars Andreas Christensen and Charly Musonda to make a big impact at the club over the next few seasons.
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Hazard’s Borussia Monchengladbach are resurgent in recent weeks with Hazard and on-loan Christensen showing their best form, with the 23-year-old attacker scoring as his two goals in his side’s last two games to achieve four wins in a row.
Goal understands that Christensen is expected to return to Chelsea in the summer, despite Gladbach’s wishes to buy or loan him for another season, and Hazard believes that his current team-mate has a great future.
“When he arrived everybody in the team and at the club were saying “wow”, what a defender, what a player,” he told Goal at Borussia Park. “He can play football, he is strong, he is fast, he is intelligent and so he has helped us a lot and helped us get Champions League qualification.
“I think he has a great future and he can play at a top, top level at a top, top team. When a 19-year-old comes into defence like this and does this and I am very confident about his future.
“We have a good relationship and we played also at Chelsea for a month. We played in the youth team and trained together, but I didn’t realise until he came here that he was so good.
“First he came here and nobody knew who he was. He came in here, at 19 years old and when he played in the first game, it was difficult because it was against Dortmund. The team lost and it was difficult for him because then he didn’t play for two or three games.
“He wasn’t like he is now, he is a developing talent. There are a few players here who can speak his language like Jannik Vestergaard and Oscar Wendt which helps him. I think it is a club for young players and it is very good to come here.
“They give their opportunity also to play in a great club, great atmosphere and a great championship. Most of the guys are very good. It is a high level. You can see also with Christensen, Dahoud and Elvedi, but other guys too who are young players coming into the team this season. They help the team and learn.”
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Meanwhile, Hazard has a friendship with his countryman Musonda who has recently returned to Chelsea after the second half of his loan spell at Real Betis, was not as successful as his first half, due to a change of managers.
Antonio Conte has been impressed with Musonda in training and he could make his Chelsea debut in the FA Cup against Wolves at the weekend. Hazard sympathises with Musonda’s battle for first-team places as he competes with his older brother Eden, who plays in the same position as the 20-year-old.
“Charly is a friend. He decided to go on loan to Betis and the first year he was fantastic for Charly,” he continued. “After that there was a change in the coach. They changed the trainer and sometimes they want to play with you and sometimes they don’t want to.
“So after he decided to return to Chelsea and he decided to take a place in the squad so I know Charly and I think he is a winner. He will fight for that and I hope he can do this [play for Chelsea].
“I think he knows also that there are very good players in his position, so he needs to fight very, very hard. My brother, Willian and Pedro and it is a lot of players.”
Chelsea currently have 35 players out on loan across a range of clubs, including those in the Bundesliga and Hazard was one of those loan stars who was sent away to develop.
It has been well publicised that Chelsea lost players who are now highly valued in the transfer market through the system, like Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne, but Hazard was keen to say that he feels the idea is working for the west London club.
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“I think it is a good system that Chelsea have and they have a lot of young players who need to play. At Chelsea you have a very good team so it is difficult sometimes for the younger players.
“For that reason they go on loan, to develop them and after the first year on loan. I came here and sometimes the players will go back or sometimes they want to stay and play like me.
“There can be the opportunity to play in Chelsea, but you have to decide whether you need another year away [at the end of every season]. If the player thinks he is ready to go back to Chelsea then they will let you go.
“As we saw with me, Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne. If you want to go – it is your decision. I am not sure, but I think it was the decision from those guys to go – as well as me away from Chelsea. But the system is very good for the player and it is good that they don’t block you and, if you want to go then go.”