Belgian midfielder Thorgan Hazard - the younger brother of Eden - has admitted that he still hopes to play for Chelsea in the future.
The 21-year-old’s comments come just a week after he joined German club Borussia Mönchengladbach on a permanent deal, following a loan spell at Borussia-Park.
Chelsea have a buy-back option on Hazard, who is believed to have cost the Bundesliga outfit around €8 million, and may decide to activate it in the future depending on his performances over the coming years.
Hazard, who has been capped once by the senior Belgium national team, has showcased his credentials this season by scoring four goals and contributing eight assists in 26 appearances for high-flyers Gladbach.
The midfielder’s new employers currently sit third in the Bundesliga table - 18 points behind league-leaders Bayern Munich - and are on course to secure Champions League football for next season. However, Hazard is already thinking about the idea of eventually returning to Stamford Bridge.
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"I focus on excelling at Borussia,” Hazard told Belgian newspaper HLN, before adding: “but I still hope to play for Chelsea one day."
"Well to play than not to be [loaned[,” he added, according to Voetbal 24. “That's a goal that I keep myself to draw. At this time, the competition is too great there.”
Chelsea to monitor Hazard's progress
In their statement confirming the departure of Hazard, Chelsea made it clear that they will continue to monitor the player’s progress in the Bundesliga - offering hope to Eden Hazard’s younger sibling of a possible return to west London.
He originally joined Chelsea in 2012, the same summer as his older brother, but failed to make a first-team appearance for the Blues.
Hazard still managed to impress during his two years on loan with Zulte Waregem, where he finished as a league runner-up, but the fierce competition for first-team places at Chelsea meant he failed to force his way into Jose Mourinho’s plans.
In his second season with the Belgian Pro League club, the talented midfielder scored a superb 17 goals and provided 20 assists for his teammates.
Hazard was right to leave Chelsea
While clearly a real talent, both Chelsea and Hazard made the right decision to part company on a permanent basis.
There were no guarantees that Hazard would ever be at the required level to hold down a first-team place at Stamford Bridge - and no player with serious ambitions to maximise their potential should be prepared to waste precious time in their careers sitting on the bench.
It’s credit to Hazard’s professionalism and desire to play football that he has chosen to join Gladbach permanently, while working towards his ultimate dream of reuniting with his brother at Chelsea.
That may never happen, although if he continues progressing at his current rate he will give himself every chance.
Will Thorgan Hazard ever be good enough to play for Chelsea in the future? Have your say in the comments below!