With Hazard leaving, Chelsea must follow Liverpool’s Coutinho model – Hasselbaink

A talismanic presence is expected to leave west London for Real Madrid, but those at Stamford Bridge have been urged against signing a replacement

Eden Hazard is “not replaceable” at Chelsea, says Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, with the Blues urged to follow the lead of Liverpool and the transfer approach they took when Philippe Coutinho left Anfield.

Back in January 2018, the Reds parted company with a key creative influence.

Coutinho headed to Spain to link up with Barcelona, but Jurgen Klopp opted against bringing in a like-for-like replacement – with Liverpool investing funds in other areas of their squad.

Chelsea could soon find themselves in a similar position, with Hazard expected to swap Stamford Bridge for the Santiago Bernabeu as he secures a switch to Real Madrid.

Hasselbaink believes it would be a pointless exercise trying to find somebody to fill the Belgian’s shoes is west London, with Maurizio Sarri told to look at taking his side “in a different direction”.

The former Blues striker told the Daily Star: “Eden Hazard is not replaceable and you shouldn’t try to replace him.

“They need to do something different.

“If you try and replace him it’s not going to work. In the last few years, if you look at Liverpool for instance, with Luis Suarez they tried to replace him and couldn’t.

“Also the same with Philippe Coutinho, they went in a different direction. And, you know, Coutinho has been forgotten at Liverpool.

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“In a way that’s what Chelsea have to do. They need to maybe go in a different direction with a different approach.”

Hazard could have just one more outing left to take in for Chelsea.

The Blues are currently readying themselves for a Europa League final date with Arsenal on Wednesday.

The last time two London rivals locked horns, back in January, the Gunners were able to contain the threat of Hazard and secure a 2-0 Premier League win.

Hasselbaink hopes Sarri took important lessons from that game as he prepares to go in search of major silverware.

The Dutchman added: “What Arsenal did in that game is the intensity was so high from their top six players.

“They pressed them so well – and we all know Chelsea want to play from the back and control the game in that way.

“Arsenal did that really well by stopping them and punishing them.

“Chelsea need to understand if that happens again they have to play from the front.

“They have to attack Arsenal’s back line. We all know that their weak point is in defence so you have to exploit it.”

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