From a Ligue I sensation to a regular at a top club in the world, from a wonder kid to a superstar in the making and from a quiet and a simple footballer to an aggressive and competitive footballer, Eden Hazard’s career changed in the blink of an eye after his move to the European Champions – Chelsea in the summer of 2012.
The Move :
After being heavily scouted by the 2 clubs of Manchester and Chelsea, Eden hazard was in the most wanted list of all the 3 clubs after the 2011-12 season. To be honest Manchester City were outside contenders to sign him as Chelsea and Manchester United were the most probable destination for him. And he created a sensation across the footballing world last summer as he was officially the first player ever to announce his move to a club via a social networking site twitter. The tweet was : “I’m signing for the champion’s league winner”.
The move to Chelsea carried good deal of criticism along with a good deal of praise as a few pundits were of the opinion that he moved for money while many others believed he could reach the stars with Chelsea. After his arrival, the Chelsea website put up his statement which read : “I’m delighted to finally arrive here. It’s a wonderful club and I can’t wait to get started”.
So how has his season been so far?
He has certainly not proved worth the £30 million odd he was paid for but at the same time, he has had a relatively good start to his Chelsea career. His dream was to play for the European Champions and obviously win the UEFA Champions League but that dream will certainly not be fulfilled this year. After a bad run in the champions league, and a bad season so far for Chelsea, it wasn’t exactly what Hazard expected. But his performances have been more than promising.
With 7 goals and 11 assists in the EPL and 9 goals and 16 assists so far in all competitions for Chelsea, Hazard has easily made his way into the top 5 midfielders in EPL so far. Though under the shadow of club mate Mata this season, Hazard has easily been Chelsea’s next best performer until now. Becoming the only man in the Premier League history to win 4 man of the match awards in his first four EPL appearances for Chelsea, Hazard had a storming start to his career at Chelsea.
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His goals for Chelsea are not only reaching double digits but the way he scores most of those goals are also spectacular and a treat to watch
Being out of Champions League and losing a heavy lead in the EPL table certainly are on top of his list of “low’s” for Chelsea. But the one right on the top will be his conduct in the Capital One Cup second leg game away at Swansea.
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Chelsea entered the match 2-0 down from the first leg and were unable to score even after 80 minutes on the clock. And after giving away a goal kick to Swansea, Hazard wanted the game to carry on just as fast as possible like the other Chelsea players. But the ball boy had different ideas on that day. In order to waste sometime for his club, he decided to “keep the ball” and refused to give the ball immediately. Hazard, obviously frustrated, over reacted and tried snatching the ball from the teenager. After failing to do so, he decided to give the ball a kick which was still in the hands of the dramatic ball boy.Hazard got a red card immediately and was then suspended for 3 more games. And the rest, as they say, is history. Both the ball boy and Hazard received a fair deal of criticism after that but that particular moment was one of the lowest moments in his career so far.
His versatility in playing anywhere behind the striker received much praise. With constant comparison to both Messi and Ronaldo, Hazard can easily play as a left winger, a right winger and also as an attacking midfielder. He also played as a false #9 for Chelsea in a game too. But mostly, he has been playing as a left winger and has provided most of his 16 assists from that position.
Final Word :
Though Hazard could probably not win even 1 trophy this season, he is definitely heading in the right direction. With consistent and superb performances for Chelsea, Hazard has also cemented his place in the Belgium National team. With the likes of Lukaku,De Bruyne and Courtois set to join him next season in Chelsea, Hazard will also have enough company to keep him happy in London.
Overall, on a scale of 10, Hazard gets an 8 for his performances at Chelsea so far.