Chelsea's 3 Most Important Players for 2014/15 Season
The 2014 World Cup is just reaching its conclusion, and there are a handful of Chelsea stars who are still playing an important part in the campaigns of their respective countries.
However, once the tournament ends, we will return to domestic football and discover which of this summer's World Cup stars—and even those who did not shine—will make an impact for their clubs.
Chelsea will be once again challenging for the Premier League title, looking for their first league trophy in five years. If they are to be victorious next May, they will need a few of their key players to step up and make their marks on the season.
The strength of a whole squad is important in a title chase, but there are always players who are simply indispensable and make the difference when the team needs a big performance.
Who are Chelsea's key players this season? Who are the ones who will step forward and change a game?
Here are Chelsea's three most important players for the 2014/15 season.
This one's a no-brainer.
Eden Hazard, Chelsea's Player of the Season for 2013/14, PFA Young Player of Year and Player of the Year nominee, was one of the best players in the Premier League last season. If the Blues are to win the league title this year, they will need him to play to this standard once again.
By his standards, he had a disappointing World Cup with Belgium. The team had a good run in the tournament, but the 23-year-old failed to show the form that he had shown in a blue shirt all last season.
After a long year with his club side, this is hardly surprising. Hazard should be refreshed and ready to perform at the highest level once again come August.
The Belgian scored 13 goals last season, making him an important attacking asset to the Blues. Jose Mourinho has been quick to point out his defensive failures, though. Therefore, if he is to be an integral part of the first team next season, he will have to subscribe to the Mourinho philosophy.
If he can do this, he can become a complete player and potentially give Chelsea the success they desire.
However, Jose Mourinho was quickly vindicated when it became apparent that Matic was the defensive midfielder Chelsea needed to revive the team.
Matic provided consistently strong performances throughout the second half of the season, ousting John Obi Mikel from his automatic starting role.
With the right partner in defensive midfield, Matic could control the middle of the pitch, making Chelsea's already strong defence completely impenetrable.
The transfer of Diego Costa has yet to be finalized, but Chelsea have confirmed that an agreement has been reached.
Whether it is Costa or a different striker who takes that regular starting role up front, a forward will perhaps have the biggest effect on Chelsea's season.
The Blues managed to get by offensively last season through the talents of their attacking midfield, despite the lack of goals from the forward position. However, to win the Premier League this year, they will need a striker who can contribute goals when no one else can.
After all, that is the job of a striker.
Diego Costa had an impressive season for Atletico Madrid, scoring 27 goals in La Liga alone. If he can replicate this form for Chelsea, they will be a force to be reckoned with in the Premier League this year.