Eden Hazard may soon grow tired of life under Jose Mourinho unless he is allowed to return to his free-flowing way of playing football.
A report in the Daily Mail provides some interesting context to the Belgian's ongoing struggles at Stamford Bridge with journalist Neil Ashton explaining why tensions with Mourinho may be reaching a breaking point.
Hazard has become the focal point of Chelsea's creativity since arriving from Lille in 2012. His fine form not only inspired the Blues to a Premier League title win last season but also saw him win the PFA Player of the Year and Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year awards.
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But the 24-year-old returned from the summer break looking like he was already a spent force. Chelsea's season has started worse than any pundit could have possibly predicted and Hazard's poor form has been thrown into the spotlight by none other but the manager himself.
Mourinho has never had a problem with criticising his players in a public light, possibly believing it would stir them into action and prevent other players from dropping their standards. But Hazard, an unassuming and introverted young man, has not responded well.
According to the same report, Hazard is well aware that his form has not been good enough this season. His confidence remains high and he believes his best form will come back, but only if he is allowed the freedom he has previously enjoyed.
Not sitting well
That does not sit well with Mourinho, who has always given every player strict and detailed instructions for every match. They usually include sticking to a rigid position and contributing to defensive matters.
For someone as creative and attacking-minded as Hazard, the constant criticism and demand for rigidity could leave the Belgian with no choice but to seek an exit.