With his nightmarish season showing no sign of ending, Eden Hazard is being continually peppered with rumours of a Stamford Bridge departure. The Belgian has been a shadow of the player who took the Premier League by storm in 2014-15.
Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain are allegedly waiting in the wings in light of any developments in the summer. The two clubs certainly possess the funds to pry Hazard from west London and tempt Chelsea into a deal.
However, it remains unclear whether one poor season should truly prompt the Blues to relinquish one of their biggest talents. Given Chelsea’s current form, selling Hazard may prove a risk they can’t afford to take.
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With just two goals in 34 appearances, there can be little doubting it’s been a poor campaign for Hazard. From such an offensive position, no strikes from open play is simply not good enough at a club like Chelsea.
Moreover, with just four assists, the ex-Lille man isn’t even providing the ammunition for his teammates.
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However, you cannot deny Hazard’s talent. Last season saw him cruise to the PFA Player of the Year Award and even be brandished as the ‘world’s third best player’ by Jose Mourinho.
It’s easy to lose perspective amidst the hectic schedule of football but it wasn’t long ago that Hazard was ripping Premier League defences limb from limb. The immortal footballing phrase: ‘form is temporary but class is permanent’, sums this up perfectly.
One poor season doesn’t eradicate the winger’s raw ability and Chelsea can have no guarantees this will continue after the summer.
Selling Hazard would undoubtedly see them garner a heap of currency but at what cost? There’s no assurance that the Blues would be able to secure a suitable replacement, especially considering Chelsea won’t be playing Champions League football in 2016-17.
In fact, there couldn’t be a riskier time to take such a step. The last thing Chelsea need to do after a stagnant season is to shed their most talented players.
Regardless of how poor Hazard’s season has been, you can’t ignore his potential and at 25-years-old, inconsistency is bound to creep in. The fact PSG and Real Madrid are still interested should tell Chelsea all they need to know.
The pivotal factor will prove whether the Belgian himself wants to stay. Forcing the winger into staying would not only be difficult but counter intuitive. If Hazard’s heart isn’t in the Chelsea cause then he won’t be in the mindset to produce the mercurial performances we know he can display.
However, nonetheless, Chelsea would be unwise to let the Belgian slip through their fingers easily. As long as there’s a chance he could be persuaded to remain, the Blues must fight for it, as Hazard is a well of talent.
2015-16 has been a rough year for the 25-year-old but Chelsea shouldn’t forget all the Belgian has done for them in the past. Besides, if Hazard returns to his electric best after a sale, there’ll be nothing but feeling of regret for the west London side.
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