Over a weekend that saw their 12-match Premier League unbeaten run come to an end at Wembley, Chelsea fans would have been more concerned that Eden Hazard has once again put his future at Stamford Bridge into some doubt.
Admitting that he had previously discussed a potential move to PSG, the Belgian winger has also suggested his contract situation at Chelsea could result in him leaving in the summer.
The 27-year-old was heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid before pledging his short-term future to the Blues, even if it was for an additional 12 months.
Hazard has seven Premier League goals this season and has once again cemented his position as Chelsea’s main man.
However, If Hazard is to finally secure his dream move to the Bernabeu, who could Maurizio Sarri and Chelsea potentially see as the perfect replacement?
One option for Chelsea could be to replace one Premier League star with another.
After much speculation surrounding Chelsea’s interest in bringing Anthony Martial to Stamford Bridge over the summer, Maurizio Sarri could be interested in reviving the Blues’ interest.
While Martial does have an additional year in his contract at Manchester United, his deal could expire next June and Chelsea could be interested in testing Mourinho’s and Ed Woodward’s resolve.
Anthony Martial Has A 100% Shot Accuracy In The Premier League This Season (Not Including Blocked Shots)
— Premier League Stat Man ⚽️ (@EPLStatman) November 24, 2018
With it still heavily rumored that the France international is not interested in extending his stay at Old Trafford, many in SW6 would be excited by the idea of having Martial replace Hazard on the left-hand side of Chelsea’s attacking trio.
Although it has been an incredibly sluggish start for United, Martial has undoubtedly been the Reds’ standout performer having scored six goals in his last seven appearances.
One potential option for Chelsea could simply be to replace one Hazard with another.
Almost an identical player to his brother, Thorgan has only gone from strength to strength since moving to the Bundesliga back in 2015.
Once thought to be one of the youngest starlets in Chelsea’s academy, the 25-year-old, like many before him, struggled to find any real first-team action at Stamford Bridge.
However, after three years at Borussia Monchengladbach, Hazard has established himself in Belgium’s national side and has been a major part of Die Fohlen’s rise to second in the Bundesliga table.
Thorgan Hazard was on the scoresheet once again as Gladbach regained second spot in the Bundesliga with a 4-1 win over Hannover. The Belgian has now moved ahead of his brother in the scoring charts in Europe's top five leagues:
? Thorgan – 8
? Eden – 7 pic.twitter.com/VB4yHD8n6J
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) November 25, 2018
Featuring in Belgium’s run to the semi-finals at the World Cup, he has now been involved in 13 goals in his 12 league appearances this season.
Sarri and Chelsea could also see Hazard as the easiest deal to complete.
The Blues made it mandatory that part of the deal that saw him move to Borussia-Park would mean that they have first refusal on any deal.
Tipped to be one of the most talented young midfielders across Europe and also expressing his desire to play in the Premier League, there is no doubt that Christian Pulisic will be a man in high demand come January.
Despite being just 20, the forward has picked up 22 caps for the USA and is quickly becoming the poster boy for American soccer.
Once again impressing over the international break, Pulisic also became the youngest player in USMNT history to captain his country earlier in the month.
Dortmund are adamant one of their youngest talismans will not leave in January, but are prepared to negotiate a transfer for the summer if they receive a big enough bid.
Christian Pulisic's 2017/18 Bundesliga season by numbers:
182 take-ons attempted
77 take-ons completed
46 tackles won
34 fouls won
30 chances created
Flashes of his potential. ⚡️ pic.twitter.com/naWRnZgwgU
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) November 20, 2018
Along with fellow Bundesliga starlet Jadon Sancho, Pulisic has played a huge part in Dortmund’s rise to the top of the Bundesliga table.
Capitalizing on Bayern Munich’s public struggles at the start of the season, Lucien Farve’s side are the only team yet to be beaten domestically so far.
With 18 months remaining on his contract at the Westfalenstadion, it has been reported that the Blues could be lining up a £70million move.
Some at Stamford Bridge will argue that they have the perfect replacement for Hazard sat in their academy.
Gaining a long list of admirers during Chelsea’s pre-season tour of Australia, many believed that Callum Hodson-Odoi was ready to be unleashed on the Premier League.
However, playing just 35 minutes of first-team football across two Europa League cameo appearances, many in SW6 are disappointed not to have seen more of the 18-year-old.
Despite assistant manager and club legend Gianfranco Zola urging the West London side to offer the winger a new five-year deal, Hudson-Odoi is yet to put pen to paper and could potentially be looking for a move away.
But, the potential departure of Hazard could hand the young winger the opportunity he has been looking for.
With interest coming from the likes of Barcelona and Bayern Munich, could Chelsea be wise to save their cash and give Hudson-Odoi the chance to fill that Hazard shaped void?
One man who could be topping Sarri’s Chelsea’s wishlist might be his former Napoli protege Lorenzo Insigne.
Making nearly 140 appearances under the 59-year-old in Serie A, Sarri has been incredibly vocal about how highly he rates the 27-year-old.
Back in October, the Chelsea boss labeled the 30-cap Italy international as “the best player in Italy”.
5 – Lorenzo Insigne is the first Italian player in Champions League history to score in five successive home matches in the competition. Poacher. pic.twitter.com/HGueNr5auF
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 6, 2018
In an almost identical mold to the man he could be replacing, much like Hazard, Insigne has an insatiable appetite for drifting in from the left and, frankly, causing havoc.
Now playing under former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti, the winger has three Champions League goals in his four European appearances this season.
Although Chelsea fans will be devastated to see Hazard end his seven-year stay in West London, there is no doubt that they would relish Insigne as a like for like replacement.