Hazard insists Chelsea do not need a target man

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Eden Hazard has insisted Chelsea do not need to sign a target man.

Boss Antonio Conte appears to be keen to bring in a big striker, with Burnley’s Ashley Barnes among the players Chelsea have been considering.

Andy Carroll, who was lined up for a possible move from West Ham, has been sidelined by injury, and Stoke’s former QPR striker Peter Crouch is among others the Blues have shown an interest in.

But Hazard, who has been deployed as a centre-forward on occasions by Conte, believes the football runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City have been playing this season proves that an aerial presence up front is not needed.

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Hazard said: “Who is the best team this year? Man City. The strikers, Jesus and Aguero, are not big. It’s simple.

“If you want to play with long balls you need a target man. If you want to keep the ball on the floor you need a small guy. It depends how you want to play.”

Alvaro Morata has struggled in front of goal for Chelsea in recent weeks, while Michy Batshuayi has been unable to establish himself as a first-team player and looks likely to leave on loan if another striker is brought in.

But Hazard said: “Football is simple. Keep the ball on the ground and try to play like we did.

“We have two very good strikers in Alvaro and Michy. If they are not ready to play. I can play striker. I don’t think we need another one.”