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Frank Lampard admits it will be ‘impossible’ for Chelsea to replace Eden Hazard

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Eden Hazard left Chelsea to join Real Madrid in June (Picture: Getty)

Frank Lampard has acknowledged that it will be virtually impossible for Chelsea to replace Eden Hazard this season as the Belgian is one of the best footballers in the world.

Hazard’s seven-year association with Chelsea came to an end in June when he joined Real Madrid in a deal worth an initial £88m potentially rising to £130m with add-ons.

The 28-year-old was in inspirational form during his final season at Chelsea, scoring 16 goals and providing 15 assists in the Premier League as well as netting twice in the Europa League final win over Arsenal in May.

Chelsea’s efforts to fill the void left by Hazard were further hampered by their inability to sign a replacement in the summer and Lampard accepted that the rest of the squad must step up to help compensate for his departure.

Hazard ended his Chelsea career by winning the Europa League in May (Picture: Getty)

Speaking ahead of the Super Cup final, Lampard said: ‘For me, clearly [Hazard is] one of the best players in world football and last season, but not just last season, over his time at Chelsea he was the most productive player in the team generally, in terms of assists and goals and a leader.

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‘You cannot replace him individually, I think it’s pretty much impossible because of the high, high level he is at now in his career.

‘But the good news and the positive news for us and we must stay calm and be patient with this [is] we have a group of players, some younger players, some experienced players, that now have the opportunity to show that collectively and individually they can step up because yes, you are missing a huge amount of assists and goals, that’s clear.

‘The answer is as a team, we have to find a way to carry on because a football club like Chelsea will always carry on. Eden Hazard, John Terry, Didier Drogba, players move on and it’s down to the next players, the next manager.

‘That’s our big challenge now, to say good luck to Eden Hazard and to carry on as Chelsea.’

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Chelsea started their post-Hazard era in dismal fashion by losing 4-0 to Manchester United on the opening day of the season and Lampard will be hoping for a reaction from his side against Liverpool in Istanbul.

Hazard, meanwhile, is expected to make his official Real Madrid debut against Celta Vigo on Saturday when the La Liga season gets up and running.

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