Maurizio Sarri warned 27-year-old ‘carrying’ Chelsea FC

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Eden Hazard has been “carrying” Chelsea FC in the opening weeks of the season, Charlie Nicholas has claimed.

The Belgium international has enjoyed a prolific start to the Premier League season following a return of five goals in five games.

Hazard scored his second-ever hat-trick for Chelsea FC in a 4-1 win over Cardiff City at Stamford Bridge last weekend.

The 27-year-old has never scored more than 16 goals in a Premier League season but Hazard’s start to the current campaign suggests that could change this term.

Chelsea FC will make the long trip to Greek side PAOK in their Europa League group stage opener on Thursday night.

Sarri could rest Hazard ahead of the west London side’s derby clash against West Ham United at the London Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Former Arsenal star Nicholas highlighted the importance of Hazard to the new-look Chelsea FC side.

“Eden Hazard is carrying this Chelsea team at the moment and I think the manager’s type of play is taking time to settle, but it is a very promising domestic start for them,” Nicholas told Sky Sports.

“Maurizio Sarri does like to rest players for different situations and I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the game he says to Hazard, ‘I’ll give you a rest and give a few other players an opportunity’. I still think Chelsea are more than good enough to win this one.”

Hazard has won two Premier League titles, the Europa League, the FA Cup and the League Cup during his six seasons at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea FC are sitting at the top of the Premier League table and level on points with Liverpool FC following five games.

The Blues appointed Sarri as Antonio Conte’s replacement in the summer.

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