Chelsea news: Eden Hazard reveals why he struggled at Stamford Bridge last season

The Chelsea winger endured a 30-game goalless streak during a season to forget for both him and his team-mates

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The Independent Football

Eden Hazard has revealed that his struggles at Chelsea last season were down to a recurring hip injury.

The Belgian winger suffered an annus horribilis during the 2015/16 campaign, one that saw him endure a 30-game wait for a goal amid rumours of a fall-out with then-manager Jose Mourinho.

Hazard has now rediscovered the form that saw him win player of the year awards from both the Professional Footballers’ Association and the Football Writers’ Association the previous year.

The 25-year-old is in blistering form under Mourinho’s full-time successor Antonio Conte, with five goals in his last five appearances, and he ascribes this transformation to being injury-free.

“I’m playing without pain,” he told The Guardian. “Last year was complicated. Some people didn’t believe it, but I played with an injury [he points at his hip] for a long time.

“I was never 100%, and when you’re not completely fit it’s hard to play at your best. But I had a good break after the Euros, a good pre-season, and was ready.

“Liberated, yes,” he added. “It feels like that sometimes, being injury-free and if a system brings the best out of you.”

Hazard, who has been named as the Premier League's 'Player of the Month' for October, aggravated the hip injury in question during a 2-1 defeat at Leicester City last season.

The Belgium international was substituted, but Mourinho cast doubt on the severity of the problem by later claiming that Hazard had chosen to leave the pitch himself.

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Hazard poses with his Premier League 'Player of the Month' award for October (Getty)

Mourinho was dismissed as Chelsea manager following the defeat and replaced by Guus Hiddink, who took charge at Stamford Bridge on a caretaker basis.

Hazard's father, Thierry, regularly claimed that his son was playing through the pain barrier with a hip problem last season.

“Eden’s lack of form is due to an injury, an inflammation in the hip, that he’s been carrying now for three or four months,” he said in an interview with the Belgian newspaper Le Soir.

“It’s not a bad injury, but when the pain appears, it feels like a stabbing. It feels like a knife is stabbed in it.”

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