Chelsea launched their away kit for the 2018-19 season but all fans could talk about was the decision to include Eden Hazard in the campaign – despite the Belgian’s uncertain future at the club.
Hazard had an impressive World Cup this summer and admitted after the play-off win over England that his time at Stamford Bridge could be up amid interest from Champions League winners Real Madrid.
But as the Blues announced ‘yellow is back’ with their latest away strip – which will set fans back £90 for the shirt alone – questions continued to swirl as to whether the Belgian’s inclusion was a suggestion he will stay.
The photos would have been done before the tournament in Russia but speaking after the World Cup, Hazard set hearts racing when he said: ‘After six wonderful years at Chelsea it might be time to discover something different.
‘Certainly after this World Cup. I can decide if I want to stay or go.’
While Hazard posed alongside World Cup winner N’Golo Kante, Gary Cahill and ladies’ star Fran Kirby, there was another good omen to emerge from the launch.
A return to yellow bodes well for Maurizio Sarri’s team as the last time they opted for that colour, they went on to win the title.
Under the stewardship of Jose Mourinho, the rampant Blues rose to the top of the league and held on for the title in 2014-15.
The key difference between the two shirts is the blue collar which, on the latest collarless version has been replaced with a blue trim.
Now made by Nike – rather than adidas – the yellow shorts are much more minimalist without the three blue stripes which are a staple of any adidas design.
A 25-man squad is currently out in Australia preparing for Sarri’s first game in charge against Perth Glory on July 23.
It is a chance for Sarri and stars like Cesc Fabregas, David Luiz, Alvaro Morata and Ross Barkley to make an impression after dropping in and out under previous boss Antonio Conte.
The new away shirt will be worn for the first time on July 28 against Inter Milan in Nice.