Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley remains confident that his club will be able to win games during the upcoming season in spite of the absence of Eden Hazard. Hazard ended his several year stint with the Blues this summer and joined Los Blancos for a fee which could rise to as much as €130 million.

“You have to fill in. Everyone in the squad understands that he was a great player but he is gone” Barkley said as quoted by The Sun. 

“He has new challenges now and we have to replace his goals and create the chances.

“Last season when Eden wasn’t playing we still won games, we still created chances.

“We know he is an exceptional player but we have exceptional players in the squad and young players like Callum Hudson-Odoi who is coming back from injury and we have signed Christian Pulisic.

“We have wingers who can create from tight positions, players who can shoot from distance and strikers – young and experienced – who are hungry for goals.

The 28-year-old was arguably the most important player for the Blues since the departures of Frank Lampard and John Terry as players. He is a four time Chelsea Player of the year and also won the award at the end of last season as a result of his heroics. Hazard went on to score 21 goals in all competitions for Chelsea last season from 52 games in all competitions. He played a leading role in ensuring that the club won the Europa League and finished within the top four of the Premier League standings.

Chelsea face a stern test next season without Hazard

For the first time since Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea in 2003, it will not be realistic to expect the club to win the Premier League next season. It will be a major achievement if they manage to claim a fourth place finish, unearth a few young up and coming stars and have deep runs in the domestic Cup competitions on offer.

This is due to the club’s two window transfer ban which was slapped on them back in February. They have been unable to make any new signings this summer. Instead, they had to re-integrate youngsters and players who were out on loan last season into the first-team.

Barkley was one of the players who began to look confident at Stamford Bridge last season. The upcoming season will present the Englishman with an opportunity to truly win a place in the hearts of most Blues fans and become a fan-favourite.