ISTANBUL: Chelsea manager Frank Lampard said there was no individual that could replace winger Eden Hazard, urging the club to move on from the loss of one of their greatest players.
Hazard moved to Real Madrid in June with the Spanish club reported to have paid around 100 million euros ($111.86 million) for the Belgium international.
Chelsea lost their opening Premier League game with Lampard in charge 4-0 to Manchester United on Sunday and face Liverpool in the Uefa Super Cup today.
Former England international Lampard says the team can collectively thrive despite losing Hazard, just as they did after the departure of other club favourites.
“I was a huge fan of Eden Hazard, as a Chelsea fan. I played with him. For me, clearly (he’s) one of the best in world football, over his time at Chelsea one of the most productive in the team generally and a leader,” Lampard told a news conference. “You can’t replace him individually, because of the high level he is at now. But the good news and the positive news is that we have a group of players... that can step up. The answer is that as a team we have to find a way to carry on. Hazard, (John) Terry, (Didier) Drogba, move on.”
The Super Cup pits the Champions League winners, Liverpool, against the Europa League winners, Chelsea.
Lampard said he would continue to play the club’s young players despite criticism from former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho on Sunday.