Yesterday it was confirmed via Eden Hazard’s personal Twitter account that he was ‘signing for the Champions League Winner’, indicating a move to Chelsea was imminent. I tweeted a few hours previous to that announcement that Chelsea had won the race to sign Eden Hazard, so I give myself props for that. However previously I believed what pretty much everyone else believed. I believed that Eden Hazard was almost certainly on his way to Man City. I also predicted that in 3 year’s time he would be playing for City’s second string against Nott’s County’s Reserves, a trend that has happened to many big signings made by the Manchester Blue’s in recent times.
The fact that Chelsea had won the Champions League a few weeks ago definitely paid an instrumental part of Hazard’s decision. Chelsea pretty much came out of nowhere to secure the services of one of the hottest talents in world football. Hazard has been linked with pretty much every club under the sun over recent years. There is no doubt that Hazard has enjoyed the speculation and has excelled in it, flirted with the idea of joining different teams, this is one player who I fully expect to be on the move again in a few year’s time.
Now let’s look at a few numbers surrounding Eden Hazard.
Age – 21
Position – Attacking Midfielder
Transfer Fee – £32.5m
2011/12 – Apps – 38 Goals 20 Assists 18
2010/11 – Apps – 38 Goals 7 Assists 9
2009/10 – Apps – 37 Goals 5 Assists 9
International Caps – Apps 27 Goals 2
This year has been the first season that Eden Hazard has really become the full package in terms of creating goals as well as scoring them. Hazard’s stats playing in European competition aren’t as impressive however, playing a total of 21 games, scoring 2 goals and 1 assist. The French League has certainly become more competitive in recent years, becoming one of the best leagues in the World. However there is still a country mile between the quality of the French Ligue One and the English Premier League.
This leads me to my first point as to why Hazard chose the wrong club. At the age of 21, with so much to improve on, hardly the finished article. I personally believe Chelsea are not the best club for a young player to develop at. Chelsea has a poor record of bringing youngsters in to the team and developing them. There is no doubting Hazard’s quality but in order for him to fulfil his maximum potential, it is important for him to be nurtured. The number one football club in Britain for nurturing young talent is at Manchester United, under the wing of Sir Alex Ferguson. I’m not saying Hazard won’t be a great player for Chelsea, but I think working with Ferguson et al would see Hazard move onto another level, which he is very capable of.
Youngsters who failed to make an impression at Chelsea include Robben (£15.8m), Wright-Phillips(£27.7m), Zhirkov (£18.4m), Del Horno(£10.8m), Diarra(£3.9m), Duff(£23.2m) and Parker(£12.3m) are some just to name a few. That’s not even including more established players who have come to Chelsea in hope of advancing their careers and have ended up turning into flops.
My second reason as to why Eden Hazard chose the wrong club is because at this current point in time Chelsea have no permanent manager. Unless Roman Abramovic has informed Hazard who the new manager will be, then why would a 21 year old kid move to a club where the managerial situation is uncertain? Even if Hazard has been informed as to whom the manager will be for next season, it is very unlikely that Hazard would have spoken to them personally. I find it very strange that Hazard would move to a club where the managerial situation has yet to be sorted out as of yet, surely as a 21 year old kid moving clubs, the manager you’re working with should be number one priority for the move. Who knows maybe Hazard does know the manager who he will be working with and maybe he has held discussions with this person. I just find it all rather strange.
Another reason as to why I feel Hazard has chosen to wrong club is the style of football Chelsea is renowned for. Chelsea have always been very defensive, they won the Champions League this season by practically hanging on for dear life and hoping for the best. I understand that now with the acquisition of Hazard, Chelsea will be hoping to play a more pleasing on the eye attacking football, but surely Hazard would not have been attracted to the style of Chelsea whilst making his decision to move to them.
As an Arsenal fan it does hurt me to see Hazard signing for Chelsea, as it also hurts me to know that Arsenal were not in the running to sign Hazard this year. Hazard would have been a great signing for Arsenal and he would have fully shone under the guidance of Monsieur Wenger, I’m positively sure of it. However, after seeing the prima donna status Eden Hazard has seemed to have earned, I’m starting to feel quite relieved we were not suckered into this show Hazard was running. I am very positive that in a few years time when Real Madrid or Barcelona come knocking for Hazard, the same show will happen again. This is the type of situation Arsenal of all clubs need to keep well away from, especially with the Nasri, Cesc and Van Persie transfer debacle that has taken place in recent times.
From Chelsea’s perspective they must be feeling pretty great that they have secured to signing of Hazard, one of the hottest prospects on the planet. Let me outline the word ‘Prospect’. £32m on a prospect, plus an extra £40m on wages in an incredibly big financial move to make for a player who is only 21 years old and is relatively unproven on the big stage. I have followed Hazard’s career closely since he was 16 years old, he certainly is a fantastic player, but for Chelsea’s sake they better hope that Hazard lives up to the hype and makes a name for himself in the Premier League.
Judging by the circus act Hazard has put on, the announcement via Twitter, the prima donna lifestyle he seems destined to live, I suppose looking at things, I can see why he choose Chelsea. Chelsea are full of players who love the limelight and media attention, I’m sure Hazard will fit right in. However from the footballing side of things I can’t help but think that we will not see the Eden Hazard that we anticipated to see. As an Arsenal fan I would say, well he should have joined us, however as a neutral, my opinion is that he should have signed with Manchester United.
Maybe I will be wrong, maybe we will see Eden Hazard develop into one of the world best footballers at Chelsea, I just can’t see it, and I really hope he doesn’t turn into a waste of talent, like some of the players we have seen come and leave Chelsea in past seasons for huge amounts of money.
Thanks for reading, make sure to let me know what you think.