On Monday night, Eden Hazard finally announced to his footballing fans that he will be joining Chelsea from Lille this summer.
The 21-year-old attacker spent months batting his eyelids at Premier League clubs, whether via Twitter or in interviews. Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester City and Manchester United were all praised as worthy contenders for his signature before he decided on a move to Stamford Bridge.
The Manchester clubs, in particular, will be frustrated to have missed out on a player they both made their target for the summer transfer window. Chelsea may have won the Champions League but they finished 25 points adrift in sixth place in the Premier League last season.
The promise of regular football, their place in next season’s Champions League and the lure of London were all factors in Hazard’s decision to move to Stamford Bridge. But, in truth, it appears they were supplementary considerations to the vast riches on offer.
In the end, it seems Chelsea were the only club prepared to accept Hazard’s expensive terms as Blues owner Roman Abramovich looked for a stellar signing to kick-start a rejuvenation of the squad this summer. The total cost of the Hazard deal will be around £90 million over the course of his five-year deal.
Hazard at Chelsea
Chelsea’s triumphant win over Bayern Munich two weeks ago looks to have more and more impact on the growth of the club. But it also could have tipped the balance of the Premier League back in the Blues’ favor.
Hazard, of course, would provide Chelsea with the dynamic wing play they lacked all season. Players like Daniel Sturridge, Salomon Kalou and Ramires were filling in on the wings out of their natural position and at times it showed.
It was their lack of decision-making over lack of skill that really hurt the team, passing when they should shoot and more so shooting when they should have passed. They also struggled mightily when isolated on the wing, not able to work themselves out of tight positions leading to dead possessions and turnovers.
With Hazard, this would be a worry of the past as these are the facets he excels in. He would be the perfect complement to both the striker and other attacking players such as Juan Mata and Frank Lampard.
Why He’ll Be a Star in the Premier League
Despite his hefty cost, there’s no doubt that Hazard will add another dimension to Chelsea and the English Premier League.
The midfielder truly is the real deal. He has improved his speed across the ground and built up his frame that has seen him play over 100 consecutive games for Lille, while being the most fouled player in Europe’s top divisions.
He possesses lighting pace and agility that allows him to take on and go past defenders with ease. Comparisons with Lionel Messi and Crisitano Ronaldo would not be an exaggeration. His close control and ability to quickly change direction make him a huge threat for opposition defences. He is also a dead-ball specialist, and has been known to score from this type of opportunity.
Considering Lille lost a number of key players at the start of the season, namely Yohan Cabaye and Gervinho, Hazard has stepped up and carried his team to the very top of the league table. This campaign the Belgian scored 20 goals in 38 games and contributed with 16 assists.
During Lille’s last two seasons some have questioned Hazard’s ability to make a difference in the big games, but as the season came to a close his performance against Paris Saint-Germain answered any of his critics.
After going a goal behind Hazard became the catalyst in his side’s come back and set up the winning goal with an audacious piece of skill. There is no doubt he is an extremely talented player who has the confidence to display his ability.
Hazard has long been considered one of the most exciting young talents in European football. He could one day be considered one of the best players in the world; he may fire Chelsea to even further success both domestically and in Europe.
Personally, I think Hazard is a fantastic capture for Chelsea and I cannot wait until his first game at Stamford Bridge. I’m sure he’ll be a huge success!
Please comment with your thoughts and opinions.