Why Chelsea shouldn’t sign Philippe Coutinho to replace Hazard
ESPN have broken the news that Chelsea will look to bring in former Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho as a replacement to Real Madrid-bound Eden Hazard. Reports suggest that Los Blancos have assured the Belgian that they will make a bid for him in the summer. Hazard was quoted in an interview with French radio station RMC saying that he has made a decision and will reveal it at the end of the season.
The 28-year-old has publicly stated that a move to the Spanish capital would be a dream and he wants to make it happen. Chelsea value him at more than £100million, despite the fact his contract will only have 12 months to run at the end of the season.
Boss Maurizio Sarri was quoted saying said: “Eden is 28. If he wants to go, I think he has to go.” Chelsea have tabled a £300,000-a-week offer to keep Hazard at Stamford Bridge but the Belgian hasn’t responded to that. While the news would no doubt come as a huge blow to Chelsea, it would not be an unexpected one, as the fear within the club of their star man leaving has increased in the past few months.
Chelsea will need a replacement and report stated that they are looking at Barcelona’s attacking midfielder Phillippe Coutinho to take over the reins from the Belgian. While, the Brazilian did very well for Liverpool in his years at Anfield, but he is not the type of player who will replace what Hazard does.
In 20 appearances for Barcelona this season, Coutinho has scored four goals and has two assists. Hazard, on the other hand, has 12 goals and 10 assists in 24 appearances, more than double of what the former has this season. The Belgian averages more key passes, dribbles, shots and long passes per game than Coutinho this season.
Coutinho’s best campaign in his career was with Liverpool in 2016/17 season. The Brazilian scored a career-best 13 goals and picked up seven assists. Hazard has better numbers this season with 13 games to spare.
It is a cliche that the Belgian has been Chelsea’s best player for over six years now and to replace him will be a massive ask for any player in the world.
Instead of signing Coutinho, the Blues will be better off with youngster Callum Hudson-Odoi, who has the potential to deliver the goods on the left wing. Chelsea should keep the 18-year-old and invest on players elsewhere instead of wasting money on the ex-Liverpool man.