Should clubs be cautious over Eden Hazard?

Eden Hazard: the name that is duelling with Mario Gotze to be top of every club’s wish list and one of the two brightest and most well documented prospects in European football at the moment. At the age of 21 he has already won the cup double in France, taking position on the left of Lille’s impressive attacking trident. He’s already on course to outdo the numbers he put up for Lille last season in the league and continues his impressive development in spite of a number of key figures that left the club over the past six months. But with much talk over where the Belgian star will end up in the summer, should club’s be cautious over a player who has spoken so openly about his admiration and desire to play for other clubs?

On the part of a neutral who looks from a distance at what Lille have done to aid Eden Hazard’s development over the past three seasons, one would be hugely impressed by a player who has seen his stock rise so greatly at such a young age. But should there be reason for club’s to tread lightly when it comes to the matter of signing the wonder kid? Hazard has made no secret of his desire to leave Lille and continue his career away from France. Certainly it creates a great deal of excitement for any prospective buyers—and there are many—but surely Lille will feel a little disrespected, especially now midway through a title defence and the target of qualifying for the Champions League again.

Zinedine Zidane, Real Madrid’s Sporting Director, has tried in the past to use his influence in France to persuade Hazard that his future lies at the Bernabeu. Madrid have created an impressive young squad and Hazard would only do good things for their already hugely impressive attack. But then there has been the continued links with Arsenal and the reports that Arsene Wenger has met and agreed terms with the player last year. I’ve been nothing but impressed by Hazard’s performances and ability on the pitch, but where does the talk of a move abroad end?

It’s got to be a concern for any future manager and club of Hazard that if he’s willing to do it now who says he won’t become restless in the future and raise similar questions over his future. A move away from France and Lille into one of the leading leagues in the world—and so far only England and Spain have been mooted destinations—is a completely different set of circumstances than leaving one of the top club’s in England should Barcelona, for example, come knocking. But would a quieter, more respectful approach have been a better choice than to constantly send clubs and the media into a frenzy?

I’d love nothing more than to see Eden Hazard arrive in the Premier League. If England wants to maintain it’s grip as the leading football league in the world then it needs to attract and keep it’s best players. But an air of caution may be needed when signing Eden Hazard and his continued talk of a move away. Something that will be nowhere to be seen as his future club’s fans are sent into raptures at the capture of one of Europe’s finest.

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