Chelsea midfielder Eden Hazard has fallen short of his billing since joining as the single most promising talent in Europe, but the Blues' future is bright should he live up to the astronomical standards he set earlier in his career.
Jose Mourinho's side are suffering from a lack goals this season having registered just 10 in their opening seven Premier League outings.
Naturally fingers are pointed at Demba Ba, Fernando Torres and Samuel Eto'o; none of whom have found the net in a league fixture this term. Chelsea's misfiring strikers are heaping unhealthy pressure onto players in other positions to provide goals – but this is a task Hazard has relished in the past.
The Belgian star racked up a remarkable 20 goals and 16 assists in his final Ligue 1 campaign with Lille, prompting his current employers to negotiate a £32million move for the prodigious midfielder in May 2012.
In consequence of his blunt strike force, Roman Abramovich is likely to consider hunting down a world-class striker as a priority during the next transfer window, potentially leaving little accommodation for Chelsea's bustling crop of attacking midfielders.
Spanish midfielder Juan Mata immediately springs to mind as a possible makeweight given his initially rocky start to life under Jose Mourinho – not to mention the wad of funds his signature would attract.
Should the Spaniard depart, Hazard would largely be expected to take the reigns as Chelsea's chief provider of assists and goals from midfield – a role in which he starred for Lille; producing 43 strikes and 34 assists in all competitions during his five-year association with the club.
Now, the 22-year-old is one of many talented young playmakers on the books at Stamford Bridge that could adequately replace the Spain international – but Kevin De Bruyne, André Schürrle and the on-loan Victor Moses all lack the sublime balance of creativity and individual brilliance of Eden Hazard.
Perhaps only Brazilian playmaker Oscar aside, none of the Belgian's peers can match his club statistics or star role at international level – a telling reason why he is the man Jose Mourinho and Roman Abramovich want to construct the 'new Chelsea' around.
Ever present under the 'Special One' so far, it seems Hazard will be granted every opportunity to shine for the Blues – and now with a full campaign of Premier League experience under his belt, he has fewer excuses if he fails to step up.
Is Hazard the man to lead the Chelsea revolution? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
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