Thorgan Hazard has revealed the reason that led him to leaving Chelsea this month, stating his desire to secure regular first-team football was instrumental in his decision to sign a permanent four-year deal with Borussia Monchengladbach.
The 21-year-old winger had been on loan at Borussia-Park for the duration of the 2014/15 campaign, but opted to make his temporary switch to the Bundesliga permanent after it became increasingly apparent that opportunities in the senior team at Stamford Bridge would not be forthcoming any time soon.
Hazard will see out the remainder of his season-long agreement before officially joining Lucien Favre's team on a full-time basis from July 1. With an option for a further year to be added on, the talented Belgian could stay at the German club until 2020.
It brings an end to the younger brother of Eden Hazard's two-and-a-half year spell in west London, during which time he's made just one solitary appearance for the Blues' development squad and spent the majority of his time away from the club on loan.
After two years back in his homeland with Zulte Waregem, Hazard Jnr returned to the Premier League giants last summer, but was swiftly shipped out by Jose Mourinho again, as he wanted the player to continue his development with Monchengladbach.
Article continues below
But, with less than a year remaining on his initial contract, Chelsea decided to cash-in on the promising young starlet, receiving a remarkable €8 million for a player they paid just €500,000 for in 2012, according to The Independent.
Mourinho also made sure that a buyback clause was inserted into the agreement, in case Hazard fulfils the potential first identified by the Blues almost three years ago.
Not giving up...
Speaking to Gladbach's official website after the deal was formally announced, Hazard spoke positively about his future prospects, now that he'll have chance to prove himself with less competition for attacking places in Germany.
“I have signed here for four years with the option of a further year, because I think Borussia are the right club for me to continue developing at," he explained. “It’s too early for me to play for Chelsea still. Borussia are the club that suits me the best at the moment.”
Was it the right decision?
Hazard's decision was probably a pretty easy one after settling in well during his first six months in the Bundesliga, and follows in the footsteps of Kevin De Bruyne and Andre Schurrle by quitting Chelsea where their careers had stagnated to try and reinvigorate themselves in the German top-flight.
The Blues have actually been credited with an interest in re-signing fellow Belgian De Bruyne who has hit it off at Wolfsburg, and perhaps that's why the club had the foresight to insert a buyback option in Hazard's deal if he develops at the same rate.
Chelsea fans: Do you think Thorgan Hazard was right to leave Stamford Bridge? Or has Jose Mourinho made another mistake letting this bright young talent depart the club? Share your thoughts below...