Roberto Di Matteo delighted with Eden Hazard's bright start, but wants more

 

Roberto di Matteo declared that Eden Hazard's display of technical ability and bursts of pace proved Chelsea had got what they paid £32m for, after the Belgian yesterday made one of the most rapid impacts of any Premier League debutant.

The 21-year-old played a pivotal role in both the goals that put Di Matteo's side 2-0 up within seven minutes and with his balance, peripheral vision and speed he was unplayable in moments of the first half. Chelsea are likely to further bolster their squad with a £9m bid for Wigan's Victor Moses, but Hazard demonstrated that the European Champions already have a new dimension.

"He showed all his quality," said Di Matteo, who, though unwilling to discuss Wigan chairman Dave Whelan's reduced £9m valuation of Moses, said that his squad remained "a little bit light" in areas.

"He [Hazard] was outstanding – very good," Di Matteo said. "He combined well with his team-mates and was a threat. That was exactly what we were looking for. He's got great technical ability, a burst of pace as well, to get away. He can play with his back to goal. He has a lot of characteristics which he'll bring to our team."

In a sign of what may come often this winter, Hazard eventually found himself kicked by the Wigan captain, Gary Caldwell, and James McArthur, though Di Matteo said he did not fear this will become a regular feature of his games. "With these kinds of players, they're difficult to mark, they're good on the ball, they move," he said.

The Wigan manager, Roberto Martinez, revealed that striker Conor Salmon had not been in his squad because he is in talks with a Championship club, rumoured to be Derby County. But Martinez said the extension of the transfer window into the season was causing psychological problems to players, like Moses, who are being asked to play for one club while being pursued by another.

"You could see uncertainty, unrest, in dressing rooms around the Premier League now; players who don't know where their futures lie," Martinez said. "The transfer window should close before the official games start. It's unfair on the fans and the footballers. Victor, in the last 10 days, has got himself focused. He wanted to help the team but it's unfair asking any player – at 21 or 31 – to cope with that mental pressure. We want this league to be the best in the world, so we should look after our players. The human side as well."

Martinez was bitterly disappointed by his side's start. "We had seven minutes where we were ruled by our hearts more than our heads," he said. "After that, we got back to doing what we had to do. If you don't neutralise certain threats in a top team like Chelsea, you'll be hurt. Hazard can really affect games, use the space well, play in between the lines, and has an outstanding right foot that can hurt teams. But we coped with him really well after those first seven minutes. We were caught with the emotion of starting the league."

Hazard's limited English enabled him to say of his man-of-the-match contribution: "Yes, very happy, my first game, we win – OK!"

Frank Lampard observed of him: "It's not easy at a young age to come into the Premier League, no matter how good a player you are. You saw the quality he brought with the little spin that put [Branislav] Ivanovic through [to score] and the speed to get away from his man with the penalty [which made it 2-0]. That's something I know Chelsea fans are crying out to see."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project