Eden Hazard hopes to put a torrid 2015-16 campaign behind him by reclaiming the PFA Player of the Year award.
Hazard has returned to the Chelsea squad for their pre-season tour of the United States, with the 25-year-old taking double training sessions under new manager Antonio Conte after an extended break following Euro 2016.
The Blues play Liverpool in the International Champions Cup on Wednesday night but Hazard is already looking forward to the resumption of the Premier League season and is eyeing personal and collective glory.
“I want to be the best, like I did two years ago,” said Hazard at the Blues’ training camp. “We have got to show to everybody we are Chelsea, we are big players, we are a big team.
“We didn’t finish in a good place last season, now we want to do better and win the Premier League. After the season like this – I wanted to stay at Chelsea because I didn’t want to finish like this.”
Hazard improved at the end of last season, scoring four goals in Chelsea’s last five games before recording a tournament-leading four assists for Belgium at the Euros.
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But Chelsea’s 10th-place finish – a staggering 31 points adrift of champions Leicester City – ranks as the worst title defence in Premier League history and remains fresh in his memory.
“We tried to understand why,” he added. “We didn’t start the season well because of injuries and everything seemed to go against Chelsea. It wasn’t easy and wasn’t a good season. We want to forget it. Hopefully we will now have a better season.
“I was tired. It is easy to say now I was tired. I was injured, not a big one, but it was not easy to play with a small injury when you play in England because the game is very difficult.”
The Belgian contingent at Chelsea has grown this summer, with Michy Batshuayi joining Hazard and Thibaut Courtois at Stamford Bridge, and all three are in contention to start against Liverpool at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
Ahead of his first game ex-Juventus boss Conte, Hazard says that the changes the Italian will enforce are already evident.
“Yes, it is different,” he said. “It’s completely different. You know after the Euros we didn’t get a lot of holiday. We’re not ready yet but we’re almost ready and we can’t wait for the season to start.
“It’s been hard training but we’ve got to be ready for the new season. It’s good. He talks a lot to the players. We have to prepare tactically and we’ve got some games over here – and hopefully they will show us what we need to do.”