In Chelsea’s very mixed start to their title defence, there has been one particular shining light. The form of Eden Hazard has been very impressive and the Belgian forward looks back to his brilliant best in the Premier League.
However, his side have struggled and after their disappointing 1-0 loss away at West Ham, they are 14 points behind leaders Manchester City, who extended their lead at the top with a 2-1 derby day win over Manchester United. This means the Blues have now lost four of their 16 league games this term and they are left with very little chance of recovering the gap between themselves Pep Guardiola’s side.
Blues must retain Belgian superstar
They are going to need a very special run of form if they are to have any chance of a title challenge and if anyone can produce that magic, it’s Eden Hazard. He is receiving all the plaudits at the moment in an underperforming Chelsea side but the Stamford Bridge faithful will be disappointed to hear of Real Madrid’s repeated interest in their pint-sized forward. The Champions League holders keep reigniting this pursuit of the 26-year-old and with his current employers failing to excite both in the Premier League and in Europe, it might not be too long before he joins Cristiano Ronaldo and co. in the Spanish capital.
Despite Hazard regularly insisting that he is not interesting in leaving West London, the money and trophies on offer at the Bernabeu would surely persuade even the most loyal of players. Although, a Chelsea fan would be quick to argue that he hasn’t taken the offers so far, so why would he do so now, and it would make a very fair point. The former Lille winger is invaluable to Antonio Conte’s side and you would think it would take a transfer fee that wouldn’t be far off the world record to tempt the Blues into just discussing the sale of their star man.
Hazard to produce best-ever season?
After missing the first three matches of the Premier League campaign, Hazard is in full flow now and in his nine top-flight starts since then, he has scored five goals and recorded two assists from an advanced midfield position. Even in the games where he failed to get involved in a goal, he has still played a big part and he has picked up the Man of the Match accolade in five league fixtures. The Belgium international’s best goal-scoring season in England was last term, bagging 16 league goals as he led the Blues to their fifth Premier League title. At this rate, he could eclipse that but it would take a massive run of goalscoring form after Christmas.
On his day, there are very few players around the world that are better than Eden Hazard and he is undoubtedly Chelsea’s most influential player. However, as Matt Law said on the Sunday Supplement: if a team can stop Hazard, they can stop Chelsea. This might be great reading for the Chelsea wide man but not so good for his side. He really is a top-class player and would fit in perfectly in Madrid under Zinedine Zidane – I daren’t think about the uproar if he was sold in the summer.
Header image by joshjdss [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons