Maurizio Sarri says Eden Hazard’s talent must be ‘set free’ as he considers playing him in a ‘false nine’ role against Leicester on Saturday.
The Blues enter the game on the back of two consecutive league wins, both in which Hazard was deployed in the unfamiliar role.
He was involved in every goal during the victories over Manchester City and Brighton, creating three and scoring one himself, and Sarri suggests he could start in a central position for the third-straight Premier League match.
“There isn’t the best position for Hazard,” Sarri said.
“Hazard is a wonderful player, with a very high level of imagination. He needs to be let free on the pitch.
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“I think there isn’t the right position for him. We need to have a very high level of organisation based on his movements.”
Hazard played as a ‘false nine’ under Conte and later expressed his frustrations, but it is different under Sarri.
“He told me that he likes very much to play there,” Sarri added.
Olivier Giroud played the full game as Chelsea beat Bournemouth in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday, when Hazard came off the bench to score the decisive goal, while Alvaro Morata returned to training on Thursday following a knee injury.
Sarri’s assistant boss Gianfranco Zola on Tuesday admitted Chelsea were admirers of striker Callum Wilson, but Sarri says he is keen not to upset Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe.
“I don’t know about Wilson, because, as you know Eddie is a friend and I want to see him very happy,” Sarri added.
Prior to the Brighton match, Sarri revealed he had set a target of 80 points to achieve a top-four place. Three points against Leicester will take them halfway there.
Sarri added on Friday: “It’s not easy. Eighty points is very, very difficult average points a match.
“We have to do 2.2 points a match. It’s not easy in Premier League to gain this average.”
The immediate focus, though, is Leicester, with Sarri wary of their speedy counter-attacks.
Defender Andreas Christensen is out with a minor hamstring injury which could see him absent until January.