“I’m signing for the champion’s league winner” read the now infamous tweet that meant Eden Hazard was to join Chelsea in the summer of ...
“I’m signing for the champion’s league winner” read the now infamous tweet that meant Eden Hazard was to join Chelsea in the summer of 2012.
That cheeky, concise nugget ended what was one of the most tiring transfer sagas in the history of the transfer market. Hazard had announced his intention to leave Lille in October 2011, fresh off being voted the best player in Ligue 1 by his peers.
"I feel ready to make it to the next level in a great club. I stayed in Lille this season because there were still things I had to work on, things to prove. But now, I'm ready". In typically attention seeking fashion, Eden Hazard had kicked off a bidding war amongst the crème de la crème of European football.
Eden hazard had always been considered as one of the most mercurially gifted in what was a new generation of Belgian talents and that he was sought after by most of Europe’s top clubs was a no-brainer. He openly flirted with the idea of signing up with all the top clubs, thus fuelling the hype train even further.
Five years on and now 26, Eden Hazard’s fulfilment of the hype is still open for debate. A premier league title, the Europa league as well as the league cup alongside a sizeable number of individual awards means that Hazard has received critical acclaim from pundits, players and coaches.
However, considering his special skill set, it’s hard to shake off the feeling that Hazard can and definitely should be doing more to fulfil his undoubtedly boundless potentials.
In an age where the criterion for critical acclaim amongst the modern fanbase is the raw goals and assists produced at the highest level, it is fair to say Eden Hazard hasn’t done enough in this regard to be even close to being considered in the same breath as the world class he’s often compared with ala Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, or for the Ballon D’or gong for that matter.
Hazard is 26 and hasn't scored more than 5 goals in the CL?— O O (@otoiks) March 20, 2017
This assertion is perfectly summed up by the above tweet and continued a running theme that has come to epitomise the demands of modern football, he simply should score more.
This is a fact that Hazard himself has admitted a few times, especially in the aftermath of leading Chelsea to the premier league title in 2015, “How can I get better? My aim is to score more goals, to create more chances and to win more trophies.”
He clearly recognises this fact, and initially seemed to be out to rectify this via more attempts at goal, but even that has dovetailed somewhat, leaving him with a season total of 55 attempts (including blocked shots) in 26 appearances this season, equating to just 2.11 shots per game, dwarfed by Alexis Sanchez’ 3.44 attempts again.
Hazard has often shown a tendency to lay on passes when better placed to shoot, and has also seemed reluctant to have a go from distance despite being clearly capable as evidenced by his thunderbolt at Stoke a few years back.
There is a reason names like Neymar are seen as more favourably placed to succeed Ronaldo and Messi as Ballon D’or front runners. Put simply, he scores goals, and dwarfs Eden Hazard’s current output.
Hazard is definitely no slouch, he’s definitely a talented player but he needs to develop that selfish streak that often separates the ‘good’ from the ‘great’.