Luiz: Only Ronaldo & Messi can replace Hazard at Chelsea

Chelsea defender David Luiz reckons only Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi are capable of replacing the “fantastic” Eden Hazard.

Following more than a year of persistent speculation, Hazard finally confirmed that a summer switch to Real Madrid is seemingly imminent upon scoring a brace and adding an assist in Chelsea’s 4-1 Europa League final victory over Arsenal.

Los Blancos president Florentino Perez announced earlier this week that he hopes to wrap up a deal for Hazard soon.

Therefore, Chelsea must now search for a worthy successor to their star player if they are to avoid losing ground to their rivals next season.

Unfortunately for the Blues, though, Luiz just cannot see anybody other than five-time Ballon d’Or winners Ronaldo and Messi being up to the task of replacing Hazard at Stamford Bridge.

But the Brazilian centre-back did offer Chelsea a small ray of hope by suggesting teenage winger Callum Hudson-Odoi could one day answer their prays.

On who can replace Hazard, Luiz replied on Goal: “That’s either Messi or Ronaldo”

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“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 so young here. I am so happy for him because the world knows who Eden Hazard is.

“It is part of life. Some cycles finish, some cycles start. I think we have many, many talents within the club who can replace him.

“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 didn’t start so well because of the injury but it is time for him to improve in other sides [of his game].”

Despite nearly joining Bayern Munich in January, Hudson-Odoi eventually broke into the Chelsea team towards the end of the season.

The 18-year-old completed his first full season of senior-level football with five goals and five assists in 24 appearances.

The two-time England international is currently recovering from a season-ending ruptured Achilles tendon injury.

Chelsea v Malmo FF - UEFA Europa League Round of 32: Second Leg - Hudson Odoi
LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 21: Callum Hudson-Odoi of Chelsea celebrates scoring the third goal during the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 Second Leg match between Chelsea and Malmo FF at Stamford Bridge on February 21, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)