Belgium National Team

Eden Hazard’s Chelsea takeoff

With hype surrounding him as he arrived in West London, many wondered how long it would take Eden Hazard to make his mark in Premier League. Not long. Ben McAleer looks at his opening months with the Blues on Eden Hazard’s birthday.

It was perhaps the longest drawn out transfer saga of the summer, but when Eden Hazard finally announced he was joining Chelsea ahead of Manchester United and Manchester City on Twitter, the footballing world breathed a huge sigh of relief. He had been expected to tell the waiting fans who he would join following Lille’s last game of the season, but opted to hold fire as a result of Chelsea’s participation in the Champions League final. In the end, the Blues penalty shoot-out win in Munich over Bayern convinced him his future lies in West London. A rumoured £32m deal was struck to see the Belgium international move to Stamford Bridge as the Blues looked to capitalise on their historic Champions League win. With a number of Europe’s heavyweights chasing the 22-year-old, it appeared a good deal for Chelsea.

Having netted 22 times and laid on a further 16 in all competitions in his final season with Les Dogues it was no shock that interest was high and the young attacker took to the Premiership like a duck to water, such is his talent. Debuting for Chelsea in the 3-2 Community Shield defeat to Manchester City, Hazard was central to the West London side picking up a win away at Wigan Athletic, setting up Branislav Ivanovic’s opener, before winning a penalty which was converted by stalwart Frank Lampard in the opening six minutes. Regardless of a minor blip in form, Hazard has still mustered an impressive six goals and 16 assists for his new team, including a superb finish during the 8-0 rout of Aston Villa over the weekend. His movement on and off the ball has massively contributed to his impressive take to the Premier League. It’s no shock that many have dubbed him as Chelsea’s very own Cristiano Ronaldo, with the dribbling capabilities of Hazard bearing a striking resemblance to the Real Madrid ace, a team which has been confirmed he wants to join in the future by compatriot Christian Benteke.

Forming an interlinking partnership with Juan Mata and Oscar behind front-man Fernando Torres, as part of the scalpel sharpened trident titled the ‘Three Amigos’, his success comes as no surprise to those who bore witness to him at Lille. With the player’s owner Roman Abramovich has been acquiring at Stamford Bridge, a move to Chelsea was deemed the best suited for Hazard. Have brought in Oscar from Internacional, along with Juan Mata who signed from Valencia over 18 months ago, it was the blueprint set for a similar model adopted by Barcelona. The retention of the ball is vital to the Blaugrana’s success and it’s no secret that the Russian oligarch is keen to replicate that. Hazard is exactly the player for that to work, such is his capability on the ball and knack of beating his man before either assisting or scoring. As mentioned, his recent performances may have fallen below his high standards he set earlier in the season, but the 22-year-old continues to impress even the staunchest of doubters. His contribution to the Blues, having a direct hand in 22 goals at the time of writing, is bettered only by Mata, who himself has played his part in 27 of Chelsea’s goals this year in all competitions. Nevertheless, while Hazard has been impressive for Chelsea, as proven by his stats, the best is still to come. If he can continue his rapid rise to prominence, while playing under the right manager, there is no reason why fans won’t see the best of the Belgium international over the coming months.

Back to Top