Premier League fans will get a closer look at the man who has dominated the football community’s consciousness over the past few months.
Eden Hazard will likely turn out for Belgium when they take on England in a friendly at Wembley on Saturday.
The Lille playmaker revealed via his Twitter feed yesterday that he would be joining the Champions League winners and paper reports claim a £32million transfer fee would be followed up with a £100,000-a-week contract after tax.
That’s quite an outlay for a 21-year-old who has played his entire career in what is generally thought to be the weakest of Europe’s ‘top five’.
The circus surrounding his move was protracted and became widely derided for being annoying, with many people mocking the process of him coming to a decision.
In the end, it seems Hazard received assurances from Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich about is his role in the team, as he claimed that the regularity with which he plays and where would be a factor.
“I have always dreamed of playing the number 10 role, and wearing that number on my back,” he said.
“You can see what a difference it makes from how many goals I have scored and set up for others.
“That will be a consideration when I decide on my club. Where I will play will influence my thinking on who I should join.”
It is an understandable stance for the young man, who obviously believes he is on his way to becoming one of the best in the world and wants to make sure this is not hampered by being played in a position he does not want to.
One problem with these assurances is that Chelsea do not currently have a permanent manager in place.
It can’t be a great sign for any managers that were interested in the job, knowing that one part of the team they will be selecting has already been decided.
If Hazard is as good as he seems to believe and so many people say, then he would most likely be picked anyway, but it can’t be a great comfort for the new manager to know that his authority was undermined from the beginning.
Abramovich just cannot seem to take the hands-off approach to ownership that has seen Manchester City win a tightly contested Premier League title race.
It can be argued that this quick fix attitude has unsettled most of the managers he has employed and could be a reason as to why they have not dominated the era in which he has been spending astronomical amounts of money.
Despite Hazard effectively revealing he was moving to Chelsea, the club would not confirm anything and his comments are unlikely to please them.
“As with all transfers, when we have something to announce, we will announce it in the usual way,” they said when asked about Hazard’s words by the BBC.
The 2012 French Player of the Year snubbed interest from Manchester City and Manchester United to choose London, something that is unlikely to go down well with England’s top two teams from last season.
Roberto Mancini’s club will be disappointed they could not lure the player with their incredible spending power, but the wealth available to them means they will be able to purchase almost any player in world football if they have the resolve to do so.
Officials at Old Trafford may be looking at the situation with more concern, as it signifies another shift in power away from them.
The Glazer takeover has restricted their ability to spend so freely and they definitely have no hope of matching their affluent neighbours
The spectre of a, once again, free-spending Roman Abramovich could cause unease for Sir Alex Ferguson’s club, as they thought they had ‘seen off’ the challenge from Chelsea in recent years.
If the reports of a move for Porto’s Hulk are to be believed, then Chelsea appear to be making serious efforts to retake their place at the top table of the Premier League.
Eden Hazard has drawn the issue out for so long that many opposition fans will be willing him to flop, while the size of the fee and wages will limit the amount of patience Blues fans will have for him.
Unless he can buck the trend for imports to the Premier League from Ligue 1, Hazard is almost certainly going to be short of his best form for quite a while and may even need a whole season to adapt to his new surroundings.
We are often cautioned not to believe the hype, but Hazard will have to live up to it or his conduct up to now will form the rod for his own back.
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