The Belgian could be on the move following a failed stint with Spanish giants Real Madrid.
Eden Hazard established himself as a household name with his magical exploits for Chelsea. The winger turned himself into one of the most skillful and creative players in the world for the Blues. His success helped him secure a dream move to Real Madrid in the summer of 2019 for a fee of €146.1 million including add-ons.
But his dream move has turned into a nightmare. During his time with Real Madrid, injuries have meant that Hazard has played less than 2000 minutes in the league or just over 22 full games. Hazard has played the full 90 minutes in only 64% of his games. Five goals in 53 appearances in all competitions is not a statistic you would associate with the mercurial Belgian.
His troubles in the Spanish capital have now reached a boiling point. Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti openly mentioned that he would not have any qualms with Eden Hazard leaving the club. Now with his desire to perform and win games at the club of his dreams shattered, we look at five clubs which should target Eden Hazard.
Eden Hazard shot to prominence with his exploits for Lille in Ligue 1. Therefore, the club that made him could target Hazard for a sensational return to the Stade Pierre de Mauroy.
Although it would be a massive stepdown for Eden Hazard, he would contribute leadership and quality to Lille’s attack and their team. His arrival would also improve the profile of the league with Lille having a world-class player in their ranks. The Belgian will look to steer Lille back to the top after their win last season. It would also decrease the pressure on the winger to succeed despite the obvious expectations on his skill and talent. But of course, for Lille to afford him, Hazard will have to take a massive pay cut on his monumental €475,000 per week wages.
He himself will reminisce from the good times he had with the club having won the league and cup double in 2011 and having his most prolific season with 20 goals in 2011-12.
4. Atletico Madrid
Although highly unlikely, Real Madrid’s cross-town rivals Atletico Madrid is among the top clubs that should target Eden Hazard. Despite the hostilities of their rivalry, quite a few players have made the switch across the city.
Alvaro Morata, Marcos Llorente and Theo Hernandez are some examples. Therefore, Eden Hazard could also make a move to Los Rojiblancos. Despite his injury concerns and wages, the winger will bring obvious quality to Diego Simeone’s frontline.
Atletico Madrid’s gameplay will also fit Hazard’s style of play. He will have more time on the ball and can dictate terms. He will form a lethal frontline with Luis Suarez, Joao Felix, and Antoine Griezmann. Simeone also likes to switch the shape of his attack at times, giving Eden Hazard more flexibility in playing in the position on the left where he plays best or anywhere across the attack to impose himself on the game.
There have been multiple reports suggesting that Chelsea are targeting Eden Hazard for a return to the club where he made himself a household name.
Hazard was at his skillful best with the London club. In seven seasons, he scored 110 goals in 352 games for the club. His arrival will add more quality to Chelsea’s attack. Despite their obvious quality, Chelsea haven’t set the league apart in terms of their attack.
In his best season for Chelsea (2018-19), Hazard contributed 31 goals in 37 games. His xG rate per 90 was a healthy 0.35. He also created more than six shot-creating actions per 90. These figures are way more than what Chelsea’s creative centre-pieces Kai Havertz and Mason Mount have achieved in the last two seasons. Therefore, getting Eden Hazard will be a shot in the arm for Chelsea in their creative department. He will certainly add more spark to their attack.
2. Newcastle United
The Magpies have been linked with the biggest players in the world since the arrival of the new owners. Therefore, signing Eden Hazard could well start their journey of signing marquee players as part of their setup.
Although Hazard will not come cheap, he will be the perfect star signing for Newcastle United. Playing with fast-paced players like Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron will allow Hazard the flexibility to pull back and dictate play more often. If he arrives, there is no doubt that Newcastle’s gameplay will revolve around the talents of Hazard. The Belgian has proven that he has the capability to play as the creative focal point of any side.
Similar to Newcastle, Juventus might also gain a perfect focal point player in Hazard. Although he can’t match the energy levels of Chiesa and others, Hazard’s creative capabilities will hold him well in attack. His quality lies in his dribbling and distribution.
Therefore, Eden Hazard can be the perfect creative addition to the club. In his time at Chelsea, Hazard contributed 0.7 goals and assists per match and was averaging more than 5.5 shot-creating actions per game. Therefore, with renewed form and fitness, Hazard can recover the form that catapulted him into becoming one of the best players in the world.