If you were to ask him, he’d probably deny it very vehemently, but star man Eden Hazard appears to have issued a clear ultimatum to Chelsea Football Club.
It has been a forgettable season for the Blues. They missed out on top four and hence next season’s Champions League and, on current form, seem more likely to lose to Man United in the FA Cup final on Saturday than to win. But despite the underwhelming overall team performance, some players still stand out.
Hazard is one of those. Even after an under-par campaign both individually and collectively, the Belgian leads Chelsea’s charts in terms of both goals (16) and assists (10), which led to him being shortlisted for the PFA Fans’ Player of the Season award. It is this sort of enduring class that has the who’s who of football looking into his signature. Man City and Real Madrid are just two examples.
The positive factor from a Blues’ standpoint is that the 27-year-old is predisposed towards extending his stay at Stamford Bridge. Reports suggest that the 2017 English champions have tabled a £300,000-per-week deal for him, which means they’re more than open to retaining the services of their twinkle-toed winger.
The slightly problematic factor is that Hazard won’t sign on the dotted line till he sees some top names arrive at the club. Something that, if last season’s window is to be considered as evidence, could prove complicated.
“I’m waiting for new players next season,” said Hazard on Friday. “I want good players, because I want to win the Premier League next season.”
Hazard eyeing FA Cup triumph
It is here where the Belgian delivered an update that will warm Blues’ hearts. Along with stating a general preference to continue at Chelsea, Hazard also affirmed his motivation for helping the club end the season with the FA Cup gong.
“Like I’ve said many times before, I think the FA Cup final is not my last game for Chelsea,” he said. “It’s the last game of the season, that’s it.
“After the World Cup, then we will be ready for the next season. But, for me in my mind, I’m here. I have one week to play now. Saturday is a massive game, I just want to win, for me and them also.
“We are Chelsea and we need a trophy at the end of the season and, at the moment, we have nothing. We have not qualified for the Champions League, so this season has been bad. Now we can save a little bit this season, with this trophy. So, we will give everything.”
All in all, Chelsea are seemingly more likely to try to build a team around Hazard than allow him to leave. That means bringing in the “good players” he wants next season. It’s easier that way. One is forced to imagine, however, that he mustn’t think too highly of the supporting cast he’s had in 2017/18.
Featured image: Chelsea official website