With the transfer window yet to yield any big money moves as the elite clubs practice prudence, it seems that one of the most likely January movers is Eden Hazard, the diminutive and devilishly talented Lille creator. Joe Cole, his team mate at the French club, has likenend him to Wayne Rooney and Lionel Messi no less. In these days of ridiculous hype there are about 50 new Messis on the market every year.
But, having seen Hazard play, this guy is almost certainly the real deal. A player of rare dribbling skills (not dissimilar to Cole in his heyday), guile, craft and vision, at 21, Hazard already possesses an accomplished air and is consequently being coveted by all the major clubs in Europe. He looks likely to leave in January because the big clubs all seem to be competing for him.
Eden Hazard initially declared that he wanted to join Real Madrid. As with many French players before him, he seemingly deemed Real Madrid to be the biggest club in Europe and one that can sate his desires in the long term. But while Real Madrid have kicked their heels, probably due to having so many other creative players on their books, other clubs have shown a serious interest. Foremost amongst those clubs is Chelsea. To further massage the rumours, Hazard’s agent John Bico stated a couple of days ago that
“If Roman Abramovich really is providing funds to take Chelsea back to the top again, then they would be interesting as well. He would consider that, for sure.”
Due to these quotes, speculation has reached boiling point about Chelsea’s supposed sincerity over the transfer of Hazard , with some in the media suggesting that personal terms are already being hammered out at Stamford Bridge. Certainly it seems to make sense. After failing to buy the similarly creative Luka Modric in the summer, Chelsea interest in the Croatian seems to have cooled and now they are clearly hellbent on Hazard.
With Josh McEachran still learning his trade and Yossi Benayoun gone after an unsuccessful spell at Chelsea, blighted by injury, The Blues are in desperate need of a creative player in the middle to kick the Boas revolution into motion. Eden Hazard offers precisely the sort of art that Chelsea fans so desire. Chelsea also clearly have the money for such a transfer and the purchases of Fernando Torres and David Luiz last winter prove that Roman Abramovich isn’t scared to buy big in the winter.
Inter and Bayern Munich are also reportedly hot on Hazard’s heels but the fact that Manchester Untied haven’t entered the fray so far perhaps reflects the declining financial clout of the club. If there was ever a perfect player to address Manchester United’s current lack of creativty, it is surely Hazard. Manchester United need spark and Hazard would cost a relatively affordable £25m and a modest wage. Compare that to the demands of long term Manchester United target Wesley Snejider and the transfer seems even more appealing. Hazard’s agent is also quoted in the same interview as saying
“It all depends on the project put to Eden and the ambition he senses from whoever he is talking to. Real like him, and he likes them but, as with any player, he would view Manchester United as a great opportunity.”