Hasselbaink: Chelsea need Hazard to stay more than ever now

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LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 18: Eden Hazard of Chelsea reacts during the FA Cup Fifth Round match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on February 18, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Former Chelsea striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink believes it’s critical now the club convince Eden Hazard to commit his long-term future.

FIFA announced on Friday morning that they had imposed a two-transfer window ban on Chelsea due to breaking regulations in regards to signing minors.

The Blues soon responded by releasing a statement of their own, which declared their intentions to appeal FIFA’s ban.

But, in the event that the appeal fails, Hasselbaink thinks it’s now more crucial than ever that Chelsea set about persuading Hazard to sign a new contract.

The Belgian winger is contracted at Stamford Bridge until June 2020 and has been reluctant to agree on an extension amid interest from Real Madrid.

Recently, Hazard indicated he’s made a decision over his future, but has refused to shed light on it so far.

“Even more so, because they can’t replace him, or even get somebody who they can work on to become as good as Hazard,” Hasselbaink told Sky Sports on how critical Hazard could be to Chelsea if the transfer ban is upheld.

“I know they have already bought (Christian) Pulisic [from Borussia Dortmund], but they will need to add more if they lose Hazard.

“It is about Hazard believing in Chelsea – and them persuading him to sign a longer contract and believing in the club.”

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Although the former Netherlands international thinks that the transfer ban may be of benefit to some of the younger players such as Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

Hudson-Odoi, in particular, has grown increasingly frustrated over his lack of game time this season and was allegedly keen to sealing a transfer to Bayern Munich in the January transfer window.

Hasselbaink added: “It is not great news for Chelsea, especially with how things are going at this moment in time.

“Chelsea need to strengthen the team but, on the other hand, you can spin it – it is, in a way, good news for the younger players.

“For Callum Hudson-Odoi and also for (Ruben) Loftus-Cheek, who now will get chances.

“They [Chelsea] will have to look at their youth if this is ban is upheld.”

Hasselbaink scored 81 goals in 169 appearances for Chelsea between 2000 to 2004 and won the FA Charity Shield at Stamford Bridge.

The 46-year-old also played for Atletico Madrid, where he found the net 33 times in 43 games, before retiring in 2008 at Cardiff City and taking up coaching.

PETERBOROUGH, ENGLAND - APRIL 02: Northampton Town manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink during the Sky Bet League One match between Peterborough United and Northampton Town at ABAX Stadium on April 2, 2018 in Peterborough, England. (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)
PETERBOROUGH, ENGLAND – APRIL 02: Northampton Town manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink during the Sky Bet League One match between Peterborough United and Northampton Town at ABAX Stadium on April 2, 2018 in Peterborough, England. (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)