torres hazard

Ones to watch

by Kate Smith

Take a closer look at Blues stars.

Ahead of every game, we profile three prominent performers for the opposition – this week it’s Chelsea.

Gary Cahill
After a youth career at Aston Villa, Cahill signed professional terms with the Villans in 2004. He had loan spells at Burnley and Sheffield United before a permanent switch to Bolton Wanderers in January 2008, where Cahill established himself as a household Premier League name. The defender made over 100 first-team appearances for the Trotters, becoming vice-captain at the Reebok Stadium, before securing a move to Chelsea in January of this year. In his debut season at Chelsea, Cahill won the UEFA Champions League and FA Cup. He picked up his first England cap while at Bolton, and scored his first international goal in a Euro 2012 qualifier against Bulgaria in September 2011.

Eden Hazard
Hazard started his footballing career in his native Belgium at the age of four, and after spells at two clubs in his homeland he signed a youth contract with French side Lille. Hazard primarily played in the reserve side during the 2007-08 season, but made his first team debut as a substitute in November 2007 at the tender age of 16. He was promoted to the first team squad for the 2008-09 season and made a number of substitute appearances. He won Ligue 1 and the Coupe de France in the 2010-11 season and his form attracted a number of Europe’s elite. After winning the Ligue 1 Player of the Year two seasons running (2010-11 and 2011-12) he signed for Chelsea in the summer.

Fernando Torres
The Spanish striker has enjoyed an illustrious career to date, with an impressive trophy cabinet. He has won the World Cup and the European Championships with Spain and the FA Cup and UEFA Champions League with Chelsea. He grabbed 84 league goals in over 200 appearances at boyhood club Atletico Madrid before securing a move to Liverpool. In almost 150 games for the Reds, he scored 81 goals, averaging better than a goal every other match. Following his switch to Stamford Bridge, the Spaniard struggled initially, but played a part in the UEFA Champions League victory by scoring against Barcelona at the semi-final stage.