As summer draws closer, the rumours have yet again begun to reemerge about Hazard’s future. Over the years, Hazard has been continuously linked to PSG and Real Madrid, with links to Madrid becoming stronger since Zidane became their manager. Hazard has shied away from flirting with these transfer rumours, but each year he seems happy to stay at Stamford Bridge as he continues to solidify his Chelsea legacy. Chelsea’s current turbulent season has only added fuel to the fire, as the media scrutinises everything that Hazard does and says. But what lies in store for the Belgium maestro? Will he stay and continue to dazzle the Premier League or will Chelsea lose one of their greatest players ever to the shiny lights of the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium?
Hazard’s time at Chelsea so far has been successful, winning every trophy possible except for the Champions League; along with personal glory in the form of the PFA Player of the Year. At times, he has made an average Chelsea team look brilliant with his dazzling footwork and dribbling abilities. Yes, he may not have the goals and assists to show for, but his performances are a crucial reason for the trophies Chelsea have won over the last 6 years. He has been involved in over 100 goals for Chelsea so far, only behind Lampard and Drogba on that list, which is no mean feat. His excellence on the pitch over the years has led to questions of whether he is too good for Chelsea and the Premier League and whether he needs to be playing for a “bigger” club like Real Madrid.
On the face of it, it seems obvious that Hazard would be more successful at Real Madrid. There is no denying that Madrid’s team is currently superior to Chelsea’s, with the likes of Ronaldo, Ramos, and Modric running the team. Playing alongside such players would potentially allow Hazard to develop further and raise his game to another level. In the Premier League, there is no easy game, with smaller teams springing surprises every week now, and defenders playing strong and rough against the smaller Hazard. With the Premier League becoming increasingly difficult to win and Real Madrid looking unstoppable in Europe, Chelsea’s prospects of holding onto Hazard look slim.
While Madrid will always be a possibility for Hazard, he has enjoyed life in London so far. Throughout his Chelsea career, Hazard has also said that he and his family are extremely settled and happy in London, and his first priority in life would always be his family. Furthermore, Hazard is a player who surprisingly does not want the limelight and the attention. He prefers to be with his family and enjoy a quiet life and this could be a major reason for him staying with Chelsea over the years, and could also be a reason to stay even longer. Moving to a new city and relocating their family might not be an important factor for most players, but Hazard clearly values these factors when making key decisions.
During his time at Chelsea, Hazard has been managed by various managers, but Mourinho and Conte have had the biggest impact on him. Hazard first showed his true potential when Chelsea won the League in 2015 with Mourinho, and Hazard was named Player of the Year. There seemed to be a growing relationship between the pair, with Mourinho continually talking up Hazard and trying to protect him in a relationship that was almost reminiscent of Ferguson and Ronaldo. But that wasn’t to be as their relationship soured in 2016, and when Mourinho left during the turbulent season, their relationship was almost fractured. That raised fears that an unhappy Hazard might leave Chelsea, especially with the club finishing 10th in the Premier League and not taking part in the Champions League.
Fast forward to 2017, and there seemed to be a budding relationship between Antonio Conte and Hazard, as he once again shone in Chelsea’s journey to the title. But their relationship and Hazard’s time at the club looks to be a on a knife-edge. This season, Hazard has often been played as a false nine without much success. This was highlighted in the game against Manchester City, where Hazard was completely invisible and even questioned Conte’s tactics at the end of the game. It seems increasingly clear that Hazard does not enjoy Conte’s negative and defensive plans when playing the bigger teams, and Hazard will certainly be attracted by Madrid’s attacking playing style. A player of Hazard’s quality should not be wasted trying to defend and playing out of position, and this might push him further towards the exit.
Chelsea FC is at a crossroads right now, with Antonio Conte almost certain to leave the club this summer. The club lacks stability and clarity regarding the future and is not even close to being ready to compete in the Champions League. Moreover, the club has not been able to attract or sign a big-name player for some time now, and Hazard might feel like he’s a big fish in a small pond. With Pep Guardiola making Manchester City look unbeatable, Hazard might be wondering what he could achieve playing that style of football. Furthermore, with players like De Bruyne and Salah outclassing Hazard this year, he might decide to look for a new challenge that will allow him to showcase his skills and reaffirm his status as one of the best players in the world.
Read more on Chelsea’s season here: http://www.elartedf.com/chelsea-2017-18-short-summary/
Eden Hazard might well be the next big star to leave the Premier League and Chelsea could lose one of the best players to put on their shirt, but no one can blame Hazard for looking for a new challenge and potentially winning more trophies. Chelsea fans across the world continue to hold their breath and pray that Hazard’s love for Chelsea and London might convince him to stay longer and light up the Premier League. However, everyone should cherish the sight of the little maestro in a Chelsea shirt every week because we might not have much longer left.
Featured Image: Express
Hazard with Trophy: Metro
Hazard with Mourinho: Independent
Hazard Image: MidDay