Hudson-Odoi can replace Hazard at Chelsea, says Luiz

Chelsea defender David Luiz said Callum Hudson-Odoi can fill the void a potential Eden Hazard departure could leave at Stamford Bridge while praising manager Maurizio Sarri after the club’s Europa League triumph.

Chelsea stormed to a 4-1 success in Baku in the early hours of Thursday thanks to goals from Olivier Giroud, Pedro and a double from Hazard.

Hazard once again proved his worth to the club he has served for seven seasons.

Hazard’s double took him to 21 goals this season for Chelsea – eight more than any teammate in all competitions but they could be his last for the club, with a move to Real Madrid likely, something the player himself wants.

Chelsea look set to have a transfer ban imposed on them for next season, unless they can overturn the decision by FIFA but Luiz believes 18-year-old Hudson-Odoi can step into Hazard’s place.

“Either Messi or Ronaldo,” Luiz joked when asked by reporters who could replace Hazard. “I think if he goes I just wish him all the best.

“He is a fantastic player, friend and guy. I’ve known him ever since he was here at so young. I am so happy for him because the world knows who Eden Hazard is.

“We have many (who could replace Hazard). Callum (Hudson-Odoi) is great.

“Callum has known this club since he was young and he has the talents to one day try to be like Eden.

“It is a new story for Callum. It didn’t start so well because of the injury but it is time for him to improve in other sides (of his game).”

A euphoric Luiz also took the opportunity’s to praise Chelsea’s often-criticised manager Sarri for his role in the Blues’ success on the shores of the Caspian Sea.

“That’s the problem of playing for a big club,” Luiz added.

“It’s his first season at Chelsea, his first in English football. I think he did great.

“He is a great person, a great guy, a great manager and we finished in the best way for him because we finished winning a trophy in his way.

“Even after we conceded a goal … we continued to play his philosophy and continued to try and score more goals. It was the best end of the season for him and he deserved that.”

(Reuters/NAN)

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